The Texas 50: Ranking the most important college football players in Texas 50-41

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The state of Texas is now home to 13 FBS programs in 2023 thanks to Sam Houston's move to Conference USA. Our list of the 50-most important college football players in the Lone Star State includes at least three players from each of those schools. This is not a list of the best players in the state - for that, visit this link for our All-Texas College Team. It is intended to provide readers with the knowledge of who the most pivotal players on the team. Sometimes that means the best players, and other times it means players who need to take the next step to propel the program to more success.

The list starts with 50-41 as we're officially 50 days away from Week 1. Rankings of 40-31 will be released with 40 days remaining until Week 1, and so on. UTEP is the only team in Texas with a game during Week 0. 

No. 50 – Texas Tech RB Tahj Brooks 

More: The senior from Manor is an agile bowling ball who led Texas Tech in rushing for the second consecutive season. The Red Raiders will be without his former backfield partner, SaRodoick Thompson, in 2023. And while Cam’Ron Valdez should be a quality compliment, Brooks will be the focal point of a rushing attack that needs to provide balance to a prolific passing game, as well as take pressure off an offensive line that struggled to pass protect in 2022. 

No. 49 – UTSA DB Rashad Wisdom 

No. 48 – Texas A&M DB Bryce Anderson 

No. 47 – Texas WR Xavier Worthy 

More: A third-year wide receiver from California, Worthy already ranks third all-time in Texas football history with 21 touchdown receptions. He’s caught at least 60 passes in both of his collegiate seasons, entering his junior campaign with 122 total catches for 1,741. More depth in the Texas wide receiver room should take some pressure off Worthy, but he’ll still need to be a dynamic playmaker who returns to his true freshman form from 2021. He averaged three yards fewer per catch in 2022. 

No. 46 – Texas State OL Nash Jones 

No. 45 – SMU LB Ahmad Walker 

No. 44 – North Texas RB Ikaika Ragsdale 

No. 43 – Sam Houston WR Ife Adeyi 

More: Adeyi took a redshirt, along with over a dozen other starters for Sam Houston in 2022, to preserve a year of eligibility for the Bearkats’ move to FBS in 2023. The senior from Mansfield was an All-WAC second team selection back in 2021 after catching 54 balls for 747 yards and a team-high 10 touchdowns. Adeyi enters his final season in Huntsville with 127 catches for 1,967 yards and 18 scores. His return should help bolster the Sam Houston passing attack. 

No. 42 – UTEP WR Tyrin Smith 

No. 41 – Houston QB Donovan Smith 

More: The Cougars received a first-hand look at what Smith can do last year when he led Texas Tech to win over Houston in overtime last season. He’s now at Houston and ready to take over the Dana Holgorsen offense provided he can beat out Lucas Coley. Replacing Clayton Tune’s production at the position won’t be easy, but Smith is a strong-armed quarterback with a physical running style and Big 12 experience. The Cougars need consistency at the position to push for a bowl bid in 2023. 

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