Texas has an embarrassing amount of talent joining the program this year from its 2018 recruiting class.
The Longhorns pulled in the 247Sports composite’s No. 3 recruiting class in the country, and now Tom Herman has a ton of blue-chip freshmen likely to see the field this season. And plenty of them will see the field right away.
Here are three of the 2018 recruits most likely to play immediately as freshmen.
Keaontay Ingram — 4-star running back
Texas desperately needs a playmaker at running back to take the burden off its quarterbacks. The Longhorns didn’t have a back rush for more than 373 yards last season. Enter Keaontay Ingram. The No. 6-ranked running back in the country will have the opportunity to make an impact right away.
Ingram has the speed to run around and past defenders, and he proved he can handle the load of a feature back in 2017 (2,325 yards and 37 touchdowns on the ground as a senior at Carthage (Texas) High School). None of the Longhorns’ remaining running backs from 2017 — Daniel Young, Toneil Carter and Kyle Porter — separated themselves last season. Without a clear No. 1 back standing in his way, Ingram should have the chance to step in and get significant reps right away after he gets on campus in the summer.
Caden Sterns — 5-star safety
Just like at running back, Texas had a gaping void at safety heading into 2018. But unlike running back, the player who will fill that role is already on campus in Caden Sterns.
Sterns was the No. 1 overall player in Texas for 2018, No. 19 overall in the country. He was able to come on campus as an early enrollee, and so he’s already learning Todd Orlando’s defense and getting meaningful reps this spring. It will be tough for the Longhorns to keep the 5-star prospect off the field, especially when they have a need at safety following the departure of DeShon Elliott.
B.J. Foster — 5-star safety
Getting two 5-star safeties in the same recruiting class and trying to get them both on the field at the same time sounds like a good problem to have. That’s what Herman is facing with Sterns and fellow blue-chip defensive back B.J. Foster, who is also on campus already as an early enrollee.
Herman confirmed that Foster and Sterns are working at different safety positions so that he can get both of them on the field sooner. Texas also has junior Brandon Jones, who was third on the team in tackles in 2017. His presence means it’s unlikely that Sterns and Foster both start. However, they’re both too talented to be kept off the field, so expect them both to make contributions on defense in Week 1.