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Five Players Expected to Step Up for Texas This Spring. No 1 is my Favorite.

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As spring football approaches, players have numerous opportunities to showcase their skills and assume leadership roles for the upcoming season. With Texas making the move to the SEC in 2024, there is a need to fill vacant spots and identify new leaders. Here are five players who need to step up:

1. **Isaiah Bond:**
With Texas losing its top four leading receivers, the addition of Alabama wide receiver Isaiah Bond becomes crucial. As Alabama’s lead receiver last year, Bond brings exceptional speed and agility to the receiving corps. With quarterback Quinn Ewers at the helm, Bond is expected to make a significant impact on opposing defenses. Additionally, his experience will be valuable for the development of younger players like Ryan Wingo and Jontay Cook.

2. **Andrew Mukuba:**
A significant addition through the transfer portal, Clemson Safety Andrew Mukuba addresses a weakness in Texas’s defense. Despite having one of the best defenses in the country last season, safety play was a glaring issue, especially in losses against Oklahoma and Washington. Mukuba’s veteran presence and athleticism are expected to have a positive impact on the defensive back room and aid in the development of younger players.

3. **Cedric Baxter:**
With Jonathan Brooks no longer on the roster, running back Cedric Baxter is set to be the primary back for Texas. Coming off a solid freshman campaign where he filled in for an injured Brooks, Baxter ran for 659 yards and added five rushing touchdowns. He is poised to be a focal point of the offense, threatening defenses both in the run game and as a pass-catching option out of the backfield.

4. **David Gbenda:**
In his final year of eligibility, linebacker David Gbenda is expected to step up and become a defensive leader, especially with Jalen Ford departing. Gbenda’s experience in the program positions him as a natural leader in the locker room, and his on-field contributions will play a crucial role in the success of the defense.

5. **Amari Niblack:**
With tight end J.T. Sanders moving on to the NFL, Amari Niblack, an Alabama transfer, will be tasked with stepping into the starting role. While not posing the same physical threat as Sanders, Niblack’s ability to stress defenses vertically in the passing game is essential. His performance will not only impact the tight end position but also create opportunities for other receivers to excel.



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