Following the signing of former Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Isaiah Bond on Sunday during a visit to the Forty Acres, the Texas Longhorns have added four talented players from the NCAA transfer portal, but head coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff aren’t done.
Here’s where things stand for the Longhorns with classes set to start on Tuesday.
Former Oregon State WR Silas Bolden
One of the more surprising developments of the weekend was the continued pursuit of Bolden after Bond entered the portal on Thursday and immediately appeared headed for Texas — both players primarily play in the slot and the Longhorns weren’t expected to take more than two portal players at the position.
But not only did Bolden make it to the Forty Acres, he left sounding like Texas is the leader.
Bolden originally planned to visit Arizona, Washington, and USC this month, but those plans may be fluid with the coaching changes in Tucson and Seattle.
Why are the Longhorns still interested in Bolden, though? In addition to providing depth in the slot, Bolden could fill the Keilan Robinson role as a punt returner and core special teams player while serving as a hybrid player offensively since he’s scored four rushing touchdowns in his career.
Former Stanford TE Ben Yurosek
As Texas waited on an NFL Draft decision from standout tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders, no targets in the transfer portal emerged until a Monday report from ESPN’s Pete Thamel indicating that Yurosek is planning to visit Austin after traveling to Athens over the weekend.
Former Stanford tight end Ben Yurosek tells ESPN he visited Georgia this weekend and has a visit scheduled to Texas. He’s one of the most talented and productive tight ends in the portal, as he has 108 career receptions for 1,342 yards.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 15, 2024
Like Texas, Georgia lost its star tight end with Brock Bowers heading to the NFL and are also returning its starting quarterback, Carson Beck, so there’s no real edge between the two schools in available playing time or the stability of the situation behind center.
Former Alabama LB Kendrick Blackshire
The Duncanville product took visits to Ole Miss and Texas in recent days following three seasons as a special teams contributor and backup middle linebacker at Alabama. With the departure of Jaylan Ford to the NFL, Blackshire would be the favorite to replace Ford for the Longhorns. A decision from Blackshire could come at any moment, but if his decision draws out past the start of classes in Austin on Tuesday, Ole Miss may be the choice since classes begin next Monday in Oxford.
Former Washington CB Jabbar Muhammad
One of the top available players in the portal is the former Washington and Oklahoma State cornerback from DeSoto. Oregon and Texas wasted little time getting to Dallas to meet with Muhammad over the weekend after he left Seattle following the departure of head coach Kalen DeBoer to Alabama.
Hearing Texas Longhorns coaches are in Dallas meeting with Washington transfer cornerback Jabbar Muhammad. Oregon was in Dallas earlier today.https://t.co/oNB3pAp1fL— Gerry Hamilton (@GHamilton_On3) January 14, 2024
Texas not only has the advantage of allowing Muhammad to return home state, he’s also extremely close with his cousin Malik Muhammad, the rising sophomore cornerback for the Longhorns.
Those factors may not ultimately play a large role in Muhammad’s decision, but the notable aspect of Texas pursuing Muhammad is that he’s simply too good not to pursue even though cornerback isn’t a glaring position of need for the Horns.