Latest News: Texas Longhorns Confirm next transfer commit after Jermayne Lole

estimating Texas’s subsequent transfer commitment following Jermayne Lole
With the addition of Jermayne Lole on Thursday, Texas’ portal commitments in this class are well into the double digits.
On May 9, Texas football and head coach Steve Sarkisian won big at defensive tackle in the NCAA Transfer Portal. Defensive lineman Jermayne Lole, a former senior graduate transfer from the Louisville Cardinals, was traded to the Oklahoma Sooners by Texas.

Will Texas football address any voids on defense and special teams in the portal this spring by using its last scholarship spots?
This offseason, Lole is Texas’s third acquisition at defensive tackle via the portal. In addition, he is the eleventh athlete to enroll in the 2024 Longhorns portal class.

To bolster the depth in the middle of the defense, Johnny Nansen and the Longhorns have added three players, including Lole, Bill Norton, and Tia Savea, two former Arizona Wildcats graduate transfers. The Longhorns have at least four years of in-person experience playing live games in the Power Five thanks to the three defensive tackle pickups they made via the portal.

In the Power Five, Norton, Savea, and Lole have also accumulated more than 4,000 career defensive snaps together.

It’s obvious that Sarkisian and the Longhorns staff realized late in the spring how important it was to have more vetted experience and depth at defensive tackle. And they achieved this by stealing some defensive line depth from Oklahoma, one of their main competitors who was joining the SEC.

It appears that the Longhorns may still be taking steps this spring to bolster their roster in the portal. After getting Lole on May 9, here is a prediction for Texas’ next addition to the roster later in the spring.

Johnny Bowens, DL
Prior to Texas’ Thursday trade of Oklahoma for Lole, Johnny Bowens III, a former freshman transfer from the Oregon Ducks, appeared to be the top target at defensive lineman in the portal. The 290-pound, 6-foot-3 defensive tackle, who registered on the site on April 26, has received interest from Texas.

In 2024, Bowens would be considered more of a long-term developmental prospect than a player who makes an early impact on the interior defensive line rotation if Texas keeps targeting him.

From the standpoint of potentially replacing some of the depth and younger skill Texas lost with the departure of four-star defensive line signee D’antre Robinson, Bowens’ pursuit by the Longhorns makes sense. The Longhorns have signed just three defensive tackles from high school in the last two cycles after Robinson decommitted from Texas a few months ago.

When Bowens was being recruited for the 2023 class right out of high school, Texas expressed interest in him. When he committed to the Ducks a few years back, the Longhorns and Texas A&M Aggies were two of the top three teams that finished behind Oregon.

Bowens also attended Judson High School in Converse, Texas, which is located not far from San Antonio and is approximately an hour away from Austin.

Pilot Mikal Harrison, WR
After former San Jose State Spartans sophomore Jay’Vion Cole committed to the Longhorns this week, Texas added an immediate impact transfer corner to the program, filling a need in the portal this spring. Following junior Terrance Brooks’ departure via the transfer portal a few weeks prior, Cole provides the Longhorns with their response at field corner.

Even though Cole filled a void at field corner for the Longhorns this spring, it sounds like the coaching may still be looking for good defensive backs. This coming season, a strong group of defensive backs from Texas are anticipated to start in the secondary. However, the portal has cost the Longhorns a significant amount of secondary depth this offseason.

Former Houston Cougars freshman wide receiver Mikal Harrison-Pilot is another former blue-chip recruit whom the Longhorns targeted in the 2023 class and who is currently available for transfers this spring through the transfer portal.

The former Temple High School four-star prospect from Temple, Texas, participated in Houston’s true freshman campaign. A few months after Houston sacked former head coach Dana Holgorsen at the end of the 2023 season, Harrison-Pilot made an entry into the transfer portal.

Harrison-Pilot committed to the Houston Cougars out of high school, in part because he could play wideout for them, rather than Texas. Since Harrison-Pilot was classified as an athlete by the majority of the major recruiting services throughout his recruitment, Texas preferred him as a defensive back rather than a wide receiver.

However, Harrison-Pilot declared this offseason that he was switching to defensive back from wide receiver. I could only conclude that if Harrison-Pilot was declaring this shift from wideout to defensive back, then he is generating a good amount of interest at that position in the gateway this spring.

Following the position switch this spring, it would be fascinating to see if the Longhorns will now consider adding Harrison-Pilot to the secondary. As a versatile DB who can be cross-trained and developed for several years on the Forty Acres, he undoubtedly possesses the talent and potential that Texas seeks.

Blake Ochsendorf, P.
After bringing in former Stanford Cardinal Ryan Sanborn as a one-year rental to help special teams last year, Texas may be looking to get a transfer punter once more. One of the Big 12’s greatest punters, Sanborn helped to steady a Texas punting team that was, at best, erratic in 2022.

The Longhorns could add one or two punter choices from the portal to bolster their special teams unit before the fall season begins. Several names that were being floated as options for Texas to consider at punter, such as Bryce McFerson, a redshirt freshman from Notre Dame Fighting Irish, have already found new homes this spring thanks to the portal.

Blake Ochsendorf, a senior punter who was once a member of the Eastern Michigan Eagles and Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, is one of the punters with strong FBS special teams experience who is still available late in the spring. There is still one year for the graduate transfer to be eligible.

During the previous season, Ochsendorf was among the Conference-USA’s more effective punters. His C-USA-leading average of 45.7 yards per punt placed him in the top 20 nationally in the FBS. In addition, Ochsendorf had the best three hang times (3.98 seconds), net yards per punt (40.5), and longest punt (70 yards) among the C-USA teams.

Ochsendorf led the C-USA in fair-caught punts (25), as well as punts of 50 yards or more (17), according to a post on his X account.

As of May 9, when this story was written, I am aware of no verified communication between Texas and Ochsendorf. But, research indicates that Ochsendorf is among the top punters available if Texas wishes to add a quality player via the portal late in the spring.

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