While Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher were busy taking shots at one another and the legitimacy of each other’s recruiting practices on Thursday, the best available transfer in the country announced where he would be playing next season.
The 2021 Biletnikoff winner, Jordan Addison, took to Twitter to announce that he would be transferring to USC. An announcement that seemed inevitable, as he was being linked to the Trojans before his name had even entered the portal sparking up the discussion of tampering in college football.
Whether or not his interest in Texas was in good faith or a charade to delay the inevitable USC decision, the Longhorns were among the final two schools for his services.
While many were split on whether Texas needed Addison or not, he was not a necessity to the success of the upcoming season. However, having three elite receivers in Xavier Worthy, Isaiah Neyor, and Addison would have been a tremendous luxury to have.
Missing out on players like Florida State’s Jared Verse or Nebraska’s Ochaun Mathis actually hurt Texas more than missing out on Addison, as the Longhorns needed much more help on defense.
Let’s take a look at the three reasons that missing out on Addison was not the end of the world for Texas, starting out with the strong transfer class of receivers the Longhorns already brought in.
Syndication: Austin American-Statesman:
Transfer pass catchers Texas already added:
The Longhorns were able to flip Isaiah Neyor who has widely been considered one of the stars of the spring from his Tennessee commitment. They were also able to add Alabama pass catchers Jahleel Billingsley and Agiye Hall to the mix.
Neyor is the most proven of the three as he blew up in 2021, catching 44 passes for 878 yards and 12 touchdowns in a heavy offense run. Being in an offense where the ball will be thrown around the yard, and Xavier Worthy standing opposite of him, Neyor can have an even bigger year in 2022. Hall and Billingsley are both familiar with Sarkisian’s system to an extent, and with more opportunity to prove their skillset than what they were getting at Alabama, this offense now has elite talent everywhere.
Thanks to the addition of these transfers, and the emergence of players already on the roster, this offense may be one of the most prolific offenses in the country.
Next, the incoming speedster:
Stephen Garcia / Reporter-News:
While they were only able to add two receivers in the 2022 class in Brenen Thompson and Savion Red, it is not out of the realm of possibility that these two have a chance to contribute early. This holds especially true for Thompson, as the state champion track star is the perfect fit for Sarkisian’s system and it will be hard to keep him off the field even with all the talent ahead of him.
Red on the other hand is more of a gadget player who played all over the field in high school. He only held three other offers from schools such as SMU, Kansas, and Mississippi Valley State meaning Sarkisian and company see something in him that many other programs overlooked. While neither are nowhere near as good as Addison right now, which is something that not many are close to even being in the conversation for, they show promise for the future at this position.
Finally, other glaring needs on defense:
Syndication: The Des Moines Register:
Other glaring needs on defense:
Jordan Addison was more of a want than a need for Texas, as obviously adding the best receiver in the country to a group that has another top five receiver in the country would be a luxury, but Texas addressed their issues there already.
Where Texas struggled this offseason was adding a proven pass rusher and linebacker. The Texas defense hasn’t had a pass rusher since Joseph Ossai left, and the staff was unable to bring in any help through the transfer portal this offseason. Missing out on the aforementioned Jared Verse and Ochaun Mathis along with FAMU’s Isaiah Land were bigger and more important misses than Addison was.
The defense as a whole last season was abysmal, as it ranked No. 100 in total defense and No. 114 in rush defense, giving up over 200 yards a game, and T-No. 98 in total sacks. Players like Alfred Collins, Barryn Sorell, and Ovie Oghoufo will need to make major strides otherwise this team will resemble the peak Oklahoma teams which were all offense with little to no defense.
The Longhorns are either going to have to scramble to add talent from the portal, or work with what they got and hope that some of the incoming freshman can make an impact.