The Most Intriguing Player on Each Texas FBS Team in 2024

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What constitutes 'intrigue'? It's a simple recipe. Add a cup of top-tier talent, sprinkle in a new scheme or team, and don't forget a pinch of questions marks either on or off the field. With that in mind, here are the picks for the most intriguing player on each Texas FBS team in 2024. 

Baylor Bears – RB Richard Reese

In one season, Richard Reese went from Freshman All-American to the third wheel in the Big 12's second-to-last ranked rushing attack. His two kickoff return touchdowns in the final game of the season had fans wondering why he was in the Witness Protection Program in 2023. 

So which version of Reese do we see this year? Baylor's backfield will still operate as a committee with Reese, Dominic Richardson and Dawson Pendergrass. But Jeff Grimes's wide zone is out and Jake Spavital's 'Bear Raid' is in. Spavital's offense has shades of the Art Briles scheme, and those Baylor teams thrived with multiple backs. In three of the final four Art Briles years, three running backs had triple-digit carries. 

Houston Cougars – CB Latrell McCutchin

Latrell McCutchin feels like the only player in college football who had to sit out a season due to his second transfer. The former Austin LBJ star spent the 2021 season at Oklahoma, the 2022 season at USC, and now is back in the Lone Star State with his brother, Latreveon.

New defensive coordiantor Shiel Wood described McCutchin as a 'Sunday Player' in DCTF's magazine stop. With isaiah Hamilton's transfer, McCutchin figures to start. McCutchin is a high-profile name, but needs to prove himself. He transferred away from a USC because he wasn't guaranteed significant playing time on a defense that ranked 121st in the nation in points allowed 

North Texas Mean Green – QB Chandler Morris

Chandler Morris's breakout has been five years in the making. Could he have been saving it for Denton? The state champion from Highland Park originally signed to the Lincoln Riley-led Oklahoma and twice-won TCU's starting quarterback job before injuries sidelined him. 

Morris has two questions to answer in 2024: Can he stay healthy and also carry an offense? Neither injury he had at TCU was season-ending, his backup just excelled. On paper, teaming up with head coach Eric Morris is a career-defining move. Eric has called plays for a national top-ten offense in the six of the last nine seasons, and Chandler's Power Four experience should serve well in the American Athletic Conference.  

Rice Owls – WR Landon Ransom-Goelz

Rice is the most in-tact team in the state from last season, but Offensive MVP Luke McCaffrey is off to the NFL after accounting for 13 of the team's 29 total touchdown catches. Is Landon Ransom-Goelz the new WR1? He earned the team's top freshman designation after leading the team with 14.6 yards per catch. 

The burden doesn't fall all on Ransom-Goelz's shoulders. Rice's honorable mention pick is quarterback EJ Warner, the son of Super Bowl-winning quarterback Kurt Warner and a transfer from Temple. Wide receiver Rawson MacNeill is another option on the outside with his 6-foot-5 frame. But Ransom-Goelz could develop into an all-conference type receiver. 

Sam Houston Bearkats – CB Da'Veawn Armstead

New defensive coordinator Skyler Cassity's 4-2-5 scheme relies on rangy defensive backs, and the 6-foot-1 Armstead has the physical makeup of an NFL corner. Armstead only played four games last season to preserve a redshirt after transferring from TCU, but he should be a starter in 2024. Sam Houston will rely on Armstead to guard guys on an island. If he can shut down the other team's best receiver, he could develop into an all-conference type player. 

SMU Mustangs – WR Jordan Hudson

SMU operated as a wide receiver by-committee last season. Four players had over 400 yards. The strategy resulted in a conference championship, and all of those players return. The Mustangs are content to deploy that approach again, but they also wouldn't mind if one of the guys became THE guy. 

Jordan Hudson has the highest ceiling of all the receivers. The former high four-star from Garland played every game on TCU's national championship squad before transferring to the Hilltop last year. He tied for the team lead with seven touchdowns, but he has the talent to vault to SMU's leading receiver after finishing fifth with 425 yards. 

Texas A&M Aggies – RB Rueben Owens

Of Texas A&M's three returning running backs, Rueben Owens has the highest ceiling and lowest returning production. Amari Daniels and Le'Veon Moss each averaged at least five yards per carry, while Owens lagged at 3.8. But the former five-star from El Campo flashed the burst in Texas A&M's spring game that has fans hopeful for a breakout season. 

Offensive coordinator Collin Klein utilized plenty quarterback run at Kansas State, but it never ate into the running backs' production. Deuce Vaughn was an All-American for his ability in both the run and pass game, and Owens flashed his receiving ability as a freshman. Texas A&M will start with more of a committee approach than Vaughn operated in at Kansas State, but Owens can earn a lion's share of the touches if he produces. 

Texas Longhorns – CB Jay'Vion Cole

Power Four coaches are well aware of who the Group of Five standouts are before their fan bases know of them. Nick Saban said at the NFL Draft that Toledo cornerback Quinyon Mitchell was Alabama's No.1 player had he entered the portal. San Jose State's Jay'Vion Cole did, and Texas pounced.

Cole will compete with Gavin Holmes to replace departing cornerback Terrance Brooks, who entered the transfer portal after Texas's spring game. Texas's pass defense struggled last season, finishing 113th in the nation. Part of that can be explained away by Texas leading so often that teams had to throw, but the Longhorns also got exposed in the College Football Playoff. Cole is only 5-foot-10, but he allowed just a 40.8 passer rating when targeted last season.

Texas State Bobcats – DE Tunmise Adeleye

Adeleye is a former Under Armour All-American out of Katy Tompkins, the most heralded recruit on Texas State's roster. But the hype hasn't matched the production in three seasons across Texas A&M and Michigan State, where he's posted 15 tackles.  Adeleye was also suspended from the program on February 24 after an arrest for unlawfully carrying a weapon, evading arrest, reckless driving and failure to identify. 

Adeleye could form a dangerous defensive end duo with UIW transfer Steven Parker, but the off-field concerns make him a question mark for 2024.

Texas Tech Red Raiders – QB Behren Morton

Now in his fourth season with the program, Morton has officially transitioned from the 'highest-rated quarterback signee in program history primed for a breakout,' to a junior who needs to prove he can stay healthy to maximize that potential. Morton threw for 1,757 yards, 15 touchdowns and eight interceptions in eight starts last season, but was hampered by a shoulder injury that limited him in practice. Texas Tech shut him down halfway through spring, confirming he'd be the starting quarterback but opting to prioritize his health.  

The offense has exciting skill players with running back Tahj Brooks and five-star wide receiver Micah Hudson, but the Red Raiders can't expect to compete for a Big 12 Championship if they rotate through three quarterbacks again. 

TCU Horned Frogs – RB Cam Cook

TCU was a potentially in the market for a transfer running back until Cam Cook balled out during the spring session. The sophomore from Round Rock Stony Point figures to step into the lead role for Emani Bailey, who rushed for over 1,200 yards. Sonny Dykes told 365 Sports he believes Cook has the ability to be the next great TCU pill toter. 

Offensive coordinator Kendal Briles's scheme will rely on him. Briles's offenses at Arkansas finished seventh nationally in rushing yards per game in 2022 and led all Power Five teams in rushing in 2021. After Cook, TCU has Trey Sanders for short-yardage situations and true freshman Nate Palmer, so a lot rides on Cook's legs. 

UTEP Miners – OG Brennan Smith

Smith, a transfer from Austin Peay, emerged in the spring as the leader of UTEP's offensive line. The Miners will bank on a number of transfers from Scotty Walden's former team, but FCS offensive lineman transitioning to FBS ball are rare. UTEP may keep defensive linemen gassed with their 'Blue Baze' offense that snaps the ball every 12 seconds, which could bode well for Smith. 


UTSA Roadrunners – CB Denver Harris

Two years ago, Denver Harris was a Day One player in the SEC. The talent was never and will never be in question for the former five-star from North Shore, it's the maturity. He was twice-suspended at Texas A&M and then again in his lone season at LSU. 

UTSA is Harris's third and final chance. He reunites with associate head coach Joe Price, who coached him at North Shore, and enters a stable locker room led by Jeff Traylor. If Harris spends his free time on the practice field and in the weight room, he is an all-conference caliber player with an NFL future. 


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