Texas is widely expected to have one of the top offenses in college football in the 2023 season.
The Longhorns return 10 of their 11 starters on offense and added a slew of talented players through the recruiting ranks and transfer portal.
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However, are they poised for future success beyond the 2023 season?
ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg recently published his future college football power rankings on offense. The ranking projects success over the 2023, 2024 and 2025 seasons.
Texas landed No. 9 in Rittenberg’s ranking, behind programs such as Oklahoma, Washington, Tennessee and the typical powerhouse teams. Here’s Rittenberg’s explanation for Texas’ spot in the rankings.
Texas has the staff to rank even higher on the list and could soon establish itself as a premier offense. But there are doubts about a unit that scored 20 points or less in three of its biggest games (Alabama, TCU, and Washington) last fall, and never quite beat the transcendent running back Bijan Robinson, the No. 8 overall pick in the NFL draft, fully maximized. Will coach Steve Sarkisian pull it all off? He has a chance to start this fall as quarterback Quinn Ewers goes on to lead a unit that returns mostly intact, especially down the line and at wide receiver. This spring, Ewers left little doubt about his starter status, though Texas has depth with Maalik Murphy, who shone during the spring game, and a freshman named Arch Manning. Sarkisian is set up extremely well at QB through the 2025 season, especially if Manning, ESPN’s No. 5 overall recruit for 2023, lives up to expectations. Texas lost two draft running backs (Robinson, Roschon Johnson) and will need new players, including sophomore Jonathon Brooks and Jaydon Blue, or new freshman Cedric Baxter Jr., ESPN’s No. 30 overall.
The Longhorns project very well in the offensive line, wide receiver and tight end. All five starting linemen return, including left tackle Kelvin Banks Jr., who earned second-team All-Big 12 honors as a freshman. The exciting is only the right approach. Christian Jones enters 2023 with senior eligibility. The great recruiting pull of the Texas offensive line in 2022 should continue to bear fruit for years to come with DJ Campbell, Neto Umeozulu and others. Junior Xavier Worthy, a two-time All-Big 12 selection, and senior Jordan Whittington lead a talented and intriguing group of wide receivers, which now includes Georgia transfer Adonai Mitchell. Texas also welcomes Isaiah Neyor, an all-league transfer from Wyoming who missed all of 2022 due to a knee injury. Texas adds Johntay Cook II, ESPN’s No. 3 receiver and No. 26 overall recruit, and well over DeAndre Moore Jr., ESPN’s No. 75 overall prospect. Mackey Award contender Ja Tavion Sanders (54 receptions, 613 yards) leads the tight end group, which also includes junior Gunnar Helm. Texas will need to build out its depth for 2024 and 2025.
It’s understandable why many are taking the wait-and-see attitude regarding Texas football, but it’s hard to ignore the strong roster that Steve Sarkisian has put together.
The talented incoming freshmen, along with some true sophomores who excelled the previous year, ensure Texas will be successful for years to come. Don’t be surprised if they skyrocket on this list after the 2023 season.