Three freshmen that could shine for Texas in 2023

8/8/2023
For the first time since 2009 Texas is favored to win the Big 12 and actually have a legitimate chance to contend for all the marbles.
One of the main reasons they are favored and expected to have this much success is not only the continuity in the coaching staff, but all of their returning players. The Longhorns will field one of the most experienced teams in the country in 2023, with their wide receiver, offensive line, and defensive line units being among the best in the country.
However, even with all of the seasoned vets all over the roster there are some young guns that stand out as having a chance to shine for the Longhorns in 2023. Here are three freshmen from the 2023 class that I think have a chance to stand out for Texas this season.
CJ Baxter, Running Back
Starting off with five-star running back CJ Baxter, the Longhorns lost their two stars from the past few years in Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson to the NFL. They now are turning to a more inexperienced group, but what they lack in experience they make up for in potential. Baxter is a prime example as he provides both speed and power, and will be the perfect compliment to Jonathon Brooks. He can also do damage in the passing game, which makes him even more likely to get touches.
Derek Williams Jr., Safety
While he didn’t enroll early, look for the four-star Louisiana native to carve out a role for himself. Obviously Texas is experienced at safety with Jerrin Thompson and Jalen Catalon, but that doesn’t mean a guy like Williams will be kept off the field. Especially when you consider the injury issues Texas has had in the secondary in years past. There have been numerous positive reports about him during fall camp, which means he’s a quick learner and is already adapting to the college level.
Johntay Cook II, Wide Receiver
Does Texas have one of the best receiver corps in the country? Yes. But, four-star wide receiver Johntay Cook II will be waiting in the wings ready to make plays anytime he sets foot on the field. Texas doesn’t rotate receivers a ton under Steve Sarkisian, but with how deep they are there may be times when Cook II gets a few targets a game. He’s a threat after the catch and in order to keep Jordan Whittington healthy they may give Cook II some looks.

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