Texas Football: Longhorns Make SI's 'Way too Early Top 25'

Chris Dukes

Texas is building some hype going into 2020 thanks to a dominant win 38-10 in the Alamo Bowl and a large group of returnees that includes 16 starters from last season. 

The Longhorns were recently ranked No. 21 in Sports Illustrated's 'Way Too Early Top 25."

"Tom Herman shook up his staff after a disappointing 8-5 season," the preview said. "Quarterback Sam Ehlinger announced he’s coming back. Most of the defensive playmakers are back. The injury luck figures to be better this time around. And Matt Rhule’s departure at Baylor opens an opportunity to move back up the Big 12 pecking order."

 Ehlinger will enter 2020 with more passing yards than any active NCAA quarterback and both leading rushers Roschon Johnson and Keaontay Ingram return along with true freshman Bijan Robinson. 

Redshirt freshman Jordan Whittington should also return after sitting out all of last year recovering from a sports hernia he re-aggravated in the first game of 2019. 

The biggest hole left from a small senior class will come at receiver, where the two leaders Devin Duvernay and Collin Johnson are both graduating and most likely headed to the NFL. 

Young players like Jake Smith, Marcus Washington, Brennan Eagles, Al'Vonte Woodard and Malcolm Epps' development will be a crucial task for the Longhorn coaching staff over the offseason.  

The defense is teeming with young talent that gained valuable experience this season. Ta'Quan Grahm, Keondre Coburn, Joseph Ossai, Juwan Mitchell, Adeoye Ayodele, Anthony Cook, Caden Sterns, Jalen Green, Chris Brown, D'Shawn Jaminso, B.J. Foster, Kobe Boyce, David Gbenda and DeMarvion Overshown all earned started games in 2019.