EA College Football 25 Preview: Predicting Player Ratings for Texas Longhorns Defense

Who Will Be the Highest Rated Texas Longhorns on the Defensive Side of the Ball?
Jan 1, 2024; New Orleans, LA, USA; \Washington Huskies wide receiver Jalen McMillan (11) is hit by Texas defensive back Jahdae Barron (23) during the second quarter of the 2024 Sugar Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2024; New Orleans, LA, USA; \Washington Huskies wide receiver Jalen McMillan (11) is hit by Texas defensive back Jahdae Barron (23) during the second quarter of the 2024 Sugar Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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Though not as stellar as the offense for the upcoming season, the Texas Longhorns defense, led by coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski, will be one of the more fun units to use in EA’s new CFB 25 video game. Releasing on July 19, fans will have their first opportunity to play with their favorite teams since NCAA Football 14. For Longhorns fans, the offense may be the actual interest when loading into a ‘Play Now’ game versus Oklahoma, but the defense will include some high-rated players and interesting names heading into the best time of the year; CFB Season.

Defensive Tackle Alfred Collins: 82 Overall, Best Stat: Block Shedding

Collins has been one of the more polarizing players since entering as a five-star in the class of 2020. Collins still has yet to become a consistent starter for the Longhorns, but with the absence of NFL draft picks Byron Murphy and T’Vondre Sweat, Collins has an opportunity to step up. 

Collins won’t be the highest-rated player, likely hovering in that mid-to-low 80s range, but should have some good stats like block shedding and finesse move that makes him a fun defensive lineman to use. The rest of the defensive line is filled with transfers like Tiaoalii Savea, Bill Norton and returning lineman Vernon Broughton, all of which will find ratings between 75-85, with Savea having a chance to be one of the higher-rated players in the group.

Edge Rusher Trey Moore: 91 Overall, Best Stat: Finesse Moves

The UTSA transfer was second in both total sacks and sacks per game in last year’s college football season and joins a Texas group that needed a star off the edge. Moore will be one of the highest rated edge rushers in the game with 35.5 tackles for loss and 22 sacks in his last two seasons. His sacks often come from utilizing his speed and shiftiness toward the quarterback, which will lend to extremely high-rated finesse moves.

Alongside Moore, Texas may have four different edge rushers over an 80 overall. Five-star recruit Colin Simmons will make an immediate impact and should be rewarded with one of the highest ratings as a freshman in the game. Junior Ethan Burke and Senior Barryn Sorrell were each good in rotation this past season, meaning a good but not great 80 overall for each.

Linebacker Anthony Hill: 88 Overall, Best Stat: Pursuit

Sophomore phenom Anthony Hill will be one of the best players on the Texas defense and will have the rating to back it. Hill will likely be rated in the high 80s, with his ability to stuff the run and use his speed to attack the quarterback. Hill will also be a premier ‘user’ linebacker in the game, as he is one of the most athletic linebackers in the nation with his height and speed combination.

Hill will be joined by the likes of David Gbenda and Morice Blackwell at the linebacker position. Gbenda will probably be similar overall to Sorrell as a veteran on the team, and Blackwell should be around a 77 or 78 with great speed and coverage ability. 

Safety Andrew Mukuba: 87 Overall, Best Stat: Acceleration

The Clemson transfer was tied for the second-highest-rated safety to enter the portal in 2024, only behind now-Ohio State star Caleb Downs, who should be the best safety in the game. Mukuba is excellent in run support and will have a rating higher than players like Gbenda and Burke, but probably below Hill. Returning star cornerback Jahdae Barron will also be in the conversation for a high 80s number given his experience in the sport.

The two sophomore standouts in the secondary, Malik Muhhamad and Derek Williams will both be in store for strong ratings in the game. Two fantastic athletes in pass coverage, its expected that both could reach that 85 overall marker.

Role players like Michael Taaffe, Gavin Holmes and San Jose State transfer Jay’Vion Cole are unlikely to reach an 80 overall, but could provide great depth for the star defensive players like the aforementioned secondary.

Special Teams: 95 Overall

Though not a part of the defense, the special teams is an important part of winning in college football, and rating in the game. Kicker Bert Auburn was one of, if not the best, kicker in college last season, and will have one of the highest ratings on the team. Freshman punter Michael Kern may not have the best ratings but should have good punting power immediately.

The Texas kick and punt return game may be the very best in the nation under special teams coordinator Jeff Banks. Silas Bolden, Johntay Cook, Jaydon Blue, and Matthew Golden would all be the No. 1 returner option on most teams in college football but will have to battle for that spot in 2024. All of them will be rated over a 90 as returners, a good boost to the team's overall rating. 

Overall Defensive Rating: 91

Texas may not have a top five defense in the nation, nor will it have the star power that the offense brings, but the Longhorns have some true stars in Moore, Hill and Mukuba. Texas’s defense brings a great mix of pass rushers and athletes that will make it enjoyable to use in head to head games against friends. 

The final prediction for Texas’ team rating in EA CFB 25 is…..

95 Overall 

Evan Vieth