Longhorns lose 4 players to Mustangs in busy transfer portal

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As the transfer portal goes absolutely bonkers amid wild NIL deals and widespread tampering allegations, the University of Texas football team has lost four players to SMU. Ever Since Garrett Gilbert was benched for Case McCoy and Shane Buechele took his talents to Highland Park, SMU has become a popular non-conference landing site for former Longhorns over the past decade.

Three in the last week alone — a few of them former blue-chip recruits — have opted to take their talents to Dallas. But despite the potential devastation of losing four good players, for the first time in a long time, it seems like Texas has a deep enough roster to make this storm seem like a sprinkle.

Kelvontay Dixon is the latest to turn Mustang, announcing his transfer destination on Sunday, May 8. Dixon finished his Texas career with 12 receptions and one touchdown.

The versatile and speedy redshirt sophomore wide receiver never quite cracked the Texas rotation. The Longhorns receiving corps deepened this spring following the ascension of Xavier Worthy, the return of Jordan Whittington from injury, the recruitment of freshman Brenen Thompson, and the incoming transfers of Isaiah Neyor and Agiye Hall. 

The crowded wide receiver room was one of the reasons SMU wideout and fellow former Longhorn teammate Joshua Moore headed north up I-35 on January 24. But Moore also had a public blowup with Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian following a fall practice last season. It arguably sealed his fate as a former UT player.

Between those SMU transfers, Texas also lost two defensive players to the Mustangs last week: safety Chris Adimora and defensive end David Abiara. A freshman, Abiara redshirted last season and thus did not get into any games during his short Texas career. Adimora’s gripe with Texas is likely over his decrease in playing time between 2020, when Tom Herman and his staff were on the sidelines, and when the Sarkisian era began in 2021.

Adimora started 10 games in 2020, recording 46 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and an interception. Last season, the safety from Long Beach, California, appeared in eight games with zero starts, logging 10 total tackles in a lost season for the Longhorns. With a slew of incoming four-star safeties heading to Texas, Adimora should see much more playing time on a thinner SMU team.

Any other year, the loss of four potential contributors to an in-state sorta-rival might be a big blow to the Longhorns, who finished a disappointing 5-7 in 2021. But Sarkisian and company have recruited well since then, putting together a Top 5 class that trails just Texas A&M, Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio State.

Texas says goodbye to four depth pieces who likely would have spent a lot of cumulative time stewing on the bench as the team looks deep enough to shed some very good, unhappy players and not skip a beat. Keeping calm amid bad news is a luxury Longhorn fans haven’t been able to enjoy for the first time in years.

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