Predicting first-year success in college football is a challenge, but there is no doubt that every Texas-based college in the state added legitimate talent at key positions of need. Here is our opinion-based instant impact freshmen list heading into spring practice.
S/LB Jayven Anderson, North Texas - Galena Park North Shore
Anderson was a late addition to the signing class, but he is noted as being the highest-ranked prospect to sign with the Mean Green in the internet era. Anderson is a versatile defender who can cover like a safety and hit like a linebacker.
Another Name to Know: DB Taylor Starling
WR Ja'koby Banks, Houston - Fort Bend Marshall
The Cougars signed an epic haul at wide receiver in '23, but we are giving Banks an early edge because he is an early enrollee who is lightning-quick with a high football IQ.
RB Cedric Baxter Jr., Texas - Edgewater (Fl.)
Austin has high expectations for the five-star, No. 1 rated running back to step right in and soften the blow of the loss of Bijan Robinson to the NFL. Jonathon Brooks is the returning leader with 28 yards per game (6.6 yards per carry).
Another Name to Know: LB Anthony Hill Jr.
LB Alex Kilgore, SMU - Katy Paetow
The Mustangs have some talent coming back, but we will be shocked if Kilgore is not immediately on the linebacker two-deep on The Hilltop and pushing for a starting position. He had a tremendous senior season, showcasing quickness to the ball and sure tackling abilities.
Another Name to Know: WR Jamarion Carroll
DL David Hicks Jr., Texas A&M - Katy Paetow
There is an abundance of talent on two-deep in Aggieland, but he can provide some stability and consistency to the group. Hicks is precisely the type of defender Terry Price has thrived coaching. Hicks was the No. 1 rated prospect in Texas and the DCTF Rising cover boy.
WR Devin McCuin, UTSA - Jacksonville
The Roadrunners are blessed with a lot of talent coming back at wide receiver in 2023, but McCuin's emergence will make the entire unit even better. The early enrollee from East Texas has already opened eyes in San Antonio.
S/LB Ty Morris, Rice - Dekaney
The are no early enrollees at Rice, but Morris is the most highly decorated recruit in the 2023 class. His ability to patrol from sideline to sideline and deliver booming hits will help him see the field early at the 'Viper' position in Brian Smith's defensive scheme.
WR Cordale Russell, TCU - North Mesquite
With Quentin Johnston gone to the NFL, the Horned Frogs will look to the four-star freshman to have an immediate impact. For comparison's sake, Russell was actually rated 21 spots higher in the DCTF Hot 100. Could he be even better?
Another Name to Know: S Randon Fonette
DB Jordan Sanford, Texas Tech - Mansfield Timberview
Texas Tech signed a tremendous class on the defensive side of the ball, and Sanford entered the program boasting 10.62 100-meter speed. His versatility in the secondary should allow him to make an immediate roster impact.
Another Name to Know: DL Dylan Spencer
DL Trey Wilson, Baylor - Lakeview Centennial
It's sometimes difficult to make a considerable roster impact on the defensive front in year one, but expectations are high for Wilson, who has a quick get-off and the requisite strength to match up well in the trenches.
Another Name to Know: RB Bryson Washington
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