The Texas Longhorns spring game showcased a number of the 14 early enrollees from the 2023 class, along with a pair of portal transfers that are expected to start.
Players such as Anthony Hill Jr., Malik Muhammad, Johntay Cook II, Cedric Baxter Jr., DeAndre Moore Jr., Arch Manning, Liona Lefau and Sydir Mitchell all had moments on Saturday. And transfers AD Mitchell and Gavin Holmes will impact winning in a big way.
The level of talent that enrolled in January makes it easy to look past the talent that is set to enroll in June. The Longhorns have a 11 high school prospects, and at least two more transfers that will move to Austin in late May.
Inside Texas takes a look at the next wave of talented headed to Austin in a matter of weeks.
Trill Carter, DL, 6-2, 300 (Leesburg, Ga./Lee County) – Minnesota Golden Gophers
The Trill of victory for Texas fans, and agony of defeat for Arkansas fans. Yep, I’m here all week. Carter comes to Texas as an All-Big 10 Honorable Mention performer in 2022 with two years to play. His ability to play the run is a welcomed addition to go with Byron Murphy II, T’Vondre Sweat and Alfred Collins. That is a solid four man rotation to start. Texas ideally wants a strong six man rotation. That’s where Vernon Broughton, Sydir Mitchell and Aaron Bryant come in to make that happen.
Ryan Sanborn, P, 6-3, 195 (San Diego, Calif./Parker) – Stanford Cardinal
If there was one position this spring and Saturday that a June move-in is guaranteed to start, it’s punter. Sanborn launched 192 punts in four years as the starter for the Cardinal. He has averaged over 41 yards for his career, with more than 40 punts pinning opponents inside the 20. Sanbord is also 8-10 on field goals in his career, and has experience kicking off with 14 touchbacks in 27 career kickoffs. He could also provide insurance in the kicking game.
High school additions
Derek Williams, S, New Iberia (La.) Westgate
On3 Industry Ranking: No. 62 (4-star)
Williams will be the most gifted safety in the program the first day he steps on campus. That does not mean he will make a significant dent in 2023, however, since he wasn’t a January enrollee. Williams possesses as much positional upside as any in the 2023 class with cornerback foot quickness in a safety frame with a physical mindset.
Ryan Niblett, WR, Aldine (Texas) Eisenhower
On3 Industry Ranking: No. 66 (4-star)
Niblett missed the majority of spring track season with an early season hamstring injury. He possesses the ability to accelerate at the position only Xavier Worthy and Johntay Cook II can touch. The key will be learning the nuances of the position, using his ability to gear up and gear down consistently and snatching the ball in traffic areas. A year to develop is needed.
Jelani McDonald, ATH, Waco (Texas) Connally
On3 Industry Ranking: No. 74 (4-star)
Settling into a position is key number one for the high-end athlete with frame upside. He could be a safety, big nickel or grow into a linebacker. He’s a wildcard type of prospect, but one of the better pound-for-pound athletes in the 2023 cycle nationally. His ability to play in space and cover provides real career opportunities in the game.
Tausili Akana, EDGE, Kahuku (Hi.) Skyridge
On3 Industry Ranking: No. 131 (4-star)
Akana will report to Texas as a gifted pass rusher with a frame that needs to develop over time. He has a quick first step, a feel for rushing off the edge with bend and the physicality needed to carry over the Power 5 level. So much of Akana’s upside is ultimately tied to how much weight his frame will carry, while retaining his quickness.
Warren Roberson, S, Red Oak (Texas) High
On3 Industry Ranking: No. 274 (4-star)
Roberson is a very high upside safety that will report to Austin in need of settling in, and diving in on the safety position. The ball skills will be among the best in the program when he arrives. And the safety frame is right there with the ball skills. Roberson has SEC physicality too.
S’Maje Burrell, LB, Fort Worth (Texas) North Crowley
On3 Industry Ranking: No. 315 (4-star)
Burrell had originally planned to enroll in January before changing his mind. That could push a redshirt year into focus for the talented ‘backer. Texas signed a tremendous linebacker class in 2023, and Burrell is as talented as any.
Trevor Goosby, OT, Melissa (Texas) High
On3 Industry Ranking: No. 414 (3-star)
The upside offensive tackle prospect is in need of time to develop physically. And he is getting to Austin at a perfect time to be patient, and develop into an athletic pass protector. He arrives with high-end body quickness and “basketball feet” for a big man.
Tre Wisner, RB, DeSoto (Texas) High
On3 Industry Ranking: No. 437 (3-star)
Wisner flashed why Texas is high on him in the 6A Division II state title game in December. This will be a tough backfield to break into as a freshman without being there for the spring, in any role. He’s got pass catching and space playmaking upside.
Billy Walton, EDGE, Dallas (Texas) South Oak Cliff
On3 Industry Ranking: No. 487 (3-star)
Walton was one of the Lone Star State’s most improved seniors with a higher-level physicality to go with his athleticism. The frame needs time, and he’s coming in at a good time to develop for a season. If the frame athletically holds 245-250-pounds, Walton will race past his prospect ranking.
Spencer Shannon, TE, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei
On3 Industry Ranking: No. 697 (3-star)
Shannon will bring upside blocking ability to the tight end position, which is a key need moving forward. He’s got the ideal frame to develop into a 260-265-pound difference maker in the run game with quick feet, flexibility and willingness to get nasty between the tackles.
Will Randle, TE, New Orleans (La.) Isidore Newman
On3 Industry Ranking: No. 853 (3-star)
Randle is a very versatile player that can impact winning in a number of ways. He’s a football player, period. He affected games at tight end, linebacker, off the edge and on various special teams for Isidore Newman. Coming off a seasons ending knee injury, a year to develop is likely unless he surpasses expectations as a blocker early on.