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NCAA transfer portal tracker v. 2.7: UTSA edge Trey Moore expected to visit Texas and Ohio State

Clear portal targets are emerging for the Longhorns.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 09 Texas State at UTSA Photo by Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Despite an emphasis on high school football recruiting, Texas Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff are already aware of needs in the NCAA transfer portal as the transfer window opened for 30 days on Monday.

Those needs include high-priority positions like wide receiver and defensive line and a handful of other positions where the Longhorns could look to add potential starters or contributors — Sarkisian has taken between five and seven transfers in each of his first three cycles on the Forty Acres and could hit the low end of those numbers to buttress the 2024 recruiting class.

Some clear targets are now emerging for the Texas personnel department.


Wide receivers

The Longhorns could take two wide receivers from the portal with the biggest need a proven contributor who could step into the No. 1 or No. 2 role next season. At a deep position, players with ties to the state stand out.

South Carolina’s Juice Wells

The name most closely linked to Texas so far is South Carolina’s Juice Wells, a James Madison transfer who played with former Longhorns linebacker Diamonte Tucker-Dorsey. A 6’1, 208-pounder, Wells will be one of the top wide receivers in the portal when his decision becomes official after recording 68 catches for 928 yards and six touchdowns last season in Columbia. Wells missed almost the entirety of the 2023 season after suffering a preseason left foot injury that required surgery during preseason camp.

On Tuesday, Texas reportedly emerged as a team to watch for Wells.

Texas Tech’s Jerand Bradley

A DeSoto product who signed with the Red Raiders in the 2021 recruiting class, Bradley saw his production regress from 2022 to 2023 and is a bigger receiver than Sarkisian typically prefers, but there’s no question that he’s talented and fits the mold of a potential take since he’s from the state.

Purdue’s Deion Burks

The Longhorns have reportedly offered the Boilermakers transfer, who had a breakout redshirt sophomore season with 47 catches for 629 yards and seven touchdowns.


Tight ends

Notre Dame’s Holden Staes

A top-300 prospect and the No. 11 tight end in the 2022 recruiting class, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Staes was recruited by Jeff Banks at Texas, so there is already a tie to the staff. But the 6’4, 242-pounder is set to visit Tennessee this weekend in a recruitment that may move too fast for Texas with the possibility remaining, however slim, that junior tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders could return to school.


Defensive line

Texas A&M’s Walter Nolen

The former No. 2 prospect in the 2022 recruiting class entered the portal after Texas A&M defensive line coach Elijah Robinson accepted the defensive coordinator position at Syracuse. After recording 8.5 tackles for loss and four sacks this season, Nolen would become a rare interior lineman in the portal with a combination of recruiting pedigree and production in college. Unsurprisingly, Texas has been in contact with Nolen.

Texas A&M’s LT Overton

Although not nearly as big or productive as Nolen, Overton is still young and was an elite prospect out of high school ranked as the No. 14 player nationally.


Edge

UTSA’s Trey Moore

The redshirt sophomore from San Antonio had a breakout 2022 season and then earned AAC Defensive Player of the Year honors thanks to a monster 2023 campaign with 17.5 tackles for loss and 14.0 sacks, three passes broken up, one interception, and one forced fumble. A source close to Moore told Burnt Orange Nation last year that Moore was considering entering the portal and had interest in Texas, but he remained at UTSA after head coach Jeff Traylor complained about other programs tampering with his players. Although Traylor repeated those complaints recently, it didn’t stop Moore from exploring his options on this open market this year. The development of sophomore Ethan Burke on the edge this year decreased the need at the position for the Longhorns, but Moore is too good not to contact and try to get on campus.


Safety

Clemson’s Andrew Mukuba

Mukuba signed with Clemson out of Austin LBJ in the 2021 class as a significant miss for Texas and turned in there productive seasons for the Tigers, including 42 tackles, two tackles for loss, and six pass broken up this year. There’s now an even deeper tie for Mukuba to the Longhorns than simply growing up in Austin — Texas hired his high school coach, Jahmal Fenner, as the program’s Director of High Schools Relations last January. This one would make sense for both sides and could happen quickly.


Updates

12/7 3:00 p.m. Central

Moore is trending towards Texas, his dream school growing up, in what would be a huge addition to the pass rush for the Longhorns next season — the UTSA star recorded 14 sacks in 2023, a number only one Texas player has ever surpassed in a single season.

12/7 5:46 p.m. Central

The Klein Cain product who played with Texas sophomore running back Jaydon Blue in high school will instantly become one of the most sought-after wide receivers and players overall once his name his the portal. The Longhorns offered Golden late in the 2022 cycle following his decommitment from the Horned Frogs, but at that point the Cougars had been recruiting him for about 15 months and the hometown school won out. In addition to Golden’s pass-catching skills, he’s also an elite kick returner and could quickly became the priority portal target for Texas at wide receiver.

12/8 12:45 p.m. Central

Things are moving forward with the Longhorns and Wells with competition emerging from the Rebels and head coach Lane Kiffin.

12/8 2:06 p.m. Central

Mukuba is set to do his due diligence with visits planned to Oklahoma, Oregon, and USC in addition to trip home to Austin to visit Texas. The Longhorns remain the favorite, but the other visits do serve notice that Mukuba is approaching this as a business decision, in line with most other transfer portal players.

12/8 2:13 p.m. Central

The visit by Wells is not happening, which could be a sign of changing priorities on one or both sides with Golden entering the portal on Thursday.

12/8 7:13 p.m. Central

The Longhorns have at least one major competitor in the Buckeyes for Moore, one of the top players available in the portal.