Texas Longhorns’ Top 10 Returning Players in 2024 Include Quinn Ewers and Kelvin Banks Jr.

    The Texas Longhorns enter the SEC in 2024 after making the playoffs. Can their top 10 returning players repeat last season’s success?

    The Texas Longhorns enter the SEC in 2024 after making the College Football Playoff last season. With returning starters along the offensive line and at quarterback, they are set up well for their venture into a new conference and are eyeing a return to the postseason in the expanded 12-team format.

    PFN Mock Draft Simulator - Desktop

    Texas Longhorns’ Top 10 Returners in 2024

    Analyzing the returning players at every school is a difficult task in the transfer portal area. As such, we’ve included transfer-portal athletes on each team’s roster page to open spring camp in addition to the rostered players from last year.

    10) Barryn Sorrell, DE

    Barryn Sorrell has been ultra-consistent over his Texas career as he enters his fourth season in Austin. With 24 career starts, 89 total tackles, 14.5 for a loss, and 9.5 sacks, Sorrell has retained reliable production.

    The Texas pass rush unit was average in their final Big 12 campaign and will need players to step up in 2024 as the Longhorns head to the SEC. As a constant, steadfast option who can also defend the run, Sorrel can carry on developing in his senior year.

    9) Amari Niblack, TE

    Amari Niblack is an addition from the transfer portal who moves over from the Alabama Crimson Tide in search of more game time. With Ja’Tavion Sanders declaring for the 2024 NFL Draft, there is space for a tight end to step up in Sarkisian’s system.

    The Crimson Tide transfer played in 24 career games in his two seasons in Tuscaloosa but only started five. In 2023, Niblack had 20 receptions for 327 yards and four touchdowns. The former five-star recruit is set for a massive jump in production in his junior year.

    8) Andrew Mukuba, S

    Andrew Mukuba returns home after transferring to Texas from Clemson. The Austin native was the top-rated safety in the transfer portal and can solidify the backbone of the Longhorns secondary.

    Texas lost five safeties to the transfer portal, including Jalen Catalon, Jerrin Thompson, and BJ Allen. However, Mukuba is a more proven and exciting option than those who have left.

    The former Tiger started 31 games between 2021 and 2023 and is credited with 143 total tackles, 16 passes defended, two fumble recoveries and one interception.

    7) Anthony Hill Jr., LB

    In just his freshman season, Anthony Hill Jr. showed immense promise. The linebacker played in 14 games in 2023, starting six, and was named CFN’s 2023 Freshman Linebacker of the Year. With 67 total tackles, eight for a loss, five sacks, two passes deflected, and one force fumble, the Longhorns LB was all over the field.

    Hill was a versatile option in 2023, moving between the edge and linebacker positions. However, he could take over the vacant middle linebacker spot in 2024. The sophomore has been taking snaps there in spring practice, and Sarkisian has hinted that a permanent move could be on the cards.

    6) CJ Baxter, RB

    CJ Baxter had formed a deadly running back tandem with Jonathon Brooks before the latter suffered a season-ending ACL injury. Baxter appears to be the next breakout starter, with Brooks heading to the NFL.

    A CFN 2023 Honorable Mention Freshman All-American, Baxter played in 13 games, having 138 rushing attempts for 659 yards and five touchdowns — averaging 4.8 yards per carry.

    MORE: Texas 2025 Football Schedule 

    The RB also showed what he can do as a receiving threat, having 24 receptions for 156 yards. Heading into his sophomore season, Baxter can be the next big running back prospect out of Austin.

    5) Ethan Burke, DE

    Ethan Burke was a bright spark in the disappointing Texas pass rush, leading the Longhorns in sacks in 2023. In 13 games, the edge rusher recorded 41 total tackles, nine tackles for a loss, and 5.5 sacks.

    As he enters his junior season, Burke is primed for an even bigger year under defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski, who has developed impressive talent in Austin. The Longhorns’ defense is crying out for a dynamic rusher, and Burke could be the player to take that leap.

    4) Trey Moore, DE

    Trey Moore transfers in from UTSA after being named the AAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2023. The former Roadrunner pass rusher set the program single-season sack record in 2023 set a record with 18 tackles for loss in 2022 at UTSA.

    The Texas native brings experience and production, having played in 26 games over the last two years, registering 105 tackles, 35.5 for a loss, and 22 sacks. On top of that, Moore also has one interception, nine passes deflected, and one forced fumble.

    A star in the making, Moore is expected to take the step up in 2024 and add a dynamic pass rush plan to the Longhorns’ defense.

    3) Isaiah Bond, WR

    After being an electric, dynamic threat for Alabama in 2023, Isaiah Bond joins the Longhorns through the transfer portal, adding much-needed experience to a room that has lost an abundance of talent. With Xavier Worthy, AD Mitchell, and Jordan Whittington declaring for the 2024 NFL Draft, Bond can step up right away under offensive coordinator Kyle Flood.

    Bond recorded 38 receptions for 668 yards and four touchdowns in 2023, averaging 13.9 yards per catch. He can be a field stretcher in Austin as Texas looks to develop him in the same way they did the last generation of receivers.

    2) Kelvin Banks Jr., OT

    Kelvin Banks Jr. enters 2024 as one of the best offensive tackles in the country and is already on the radar of NFL scouts. The premier left tackle has played in and started 27 games over his three-year Longhorn career and is looking to build on his impressive resume in 2024.

    A CFN Second-Team All-Big 12 Offensive player in 2023, Banks has put together an established career in Austin. The former five-star recruit from Summer Creek High School is now entering his junior season and will anchor one of the best offensive lines in the nation.

    1) Quinn Ewers, QB

    Despite competition from Arch Manning, Quinn Ewers is expected to be the starting quarterback in Austin again in 2024. After transferring from Ohio State, Ewers has started 22 games and is climbing up Texas’ record books. His 5,656 passing yards are eighth all-time among Longhorns QBs.

    KEEP READING: 2024 Texas Longhorns Football Roster

    Ewers led the Longhorns to the playoffs for the first time in 2024 and will now lead Texas into the SEC in the hopes of earning a spot in the 12-team expanded playoff format. With NFL aspirations also on the line in his junior year, a jump in production from Ewers will set Texas up well this fall.

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    Never miss a beat with the CFN-exclusive College Football Transfer Portal Tracker, listing the student-athletes entering and exiting the transfer portal.

    Related Articles