Big 12 News

Steve Sarkisian Not Building a Big 12 or SEC Type of Team

NCAA Football: Kansas at Texas

Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian said that the Longhorns aren’t building like a Big 12 or an SEC team, despite the fact that the program is set to move to the SEC in 2025.

Sarkisian was the final coach to speak at Big 12 Media Days. He acknowledged that his time in the SEC has influenced how he’s built his program and that is reflected in his 2022 recruiting class.

That class featured seven offensive linemen and eight defensive linemen, a little more than half of the freshmen that are entering the program.

That’s not by accident.

“We want to be big and physical in the middle and we want to have speed on the edge,” Sarkisian said. “We’re already starting to build like that.”

He believes that will translate in both the Big 12, where the Longhorns are expected to play through the 2024 football season, and the SEC, where the Longhorns are expected to start playing in for the 2025 season.

“It’s not as challenging for me because we’re not shifting from one (type of roster) to the other. “This is our belief of who we want to be.”

Texas is coming off a 2021 season in which it went 5-7 (3-6) and finished seventh in the Big 12 and wasn’t bowl eligible. Sarkisian landed transfers like five-star Ohio State quarterback Quinn Ewers, wide receivers Isaiah Neyor (Wyoming) and Agiye Hall (Alabama), and tight end Jahleel Billingsley (Alabama).

Texas hopes that Ewers has the talent to help support two of the country’s best skill players in running back Bijan Robinson and wide receiver Xavier Worthy. The Longhorns must rework the offensive line and may see at least one true freshman from their massive offensive line haul in the 2022 signing class in the starting lineup.

Texas returns six starters on defense from a unit that was fell below expectations in 2021 and didn’t add many pieces in the transfer portal that could have make an impact in 2022. The roster in Austin is littered with talent and adding former TCU head coach Gary Patterson as a special assistant to the head coach could help clean up some defensive woes. If Texas is to make waves this season its defense will need to be much improved.

The Longhorns start the season Sept. 3 with Louisiana-Monroe and will host Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide one week later.

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