Friday, May 27, 2022

Isaiah Neyor commits to Texas: Former Wyoming star WR shuns Tennessee in transfer to Longhorns

Texas landed a big transfer portal commitment on Thursday in former Wyoming wide receiver Isaiah Neyor. The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder from Fort Worth, Texas, chose the Longhorns in a Twitter announcement after initially committing to Tennessee in the offseason. 

A two-star recruit in the 2019 class, the former Cowboy hauled in 44 passes for 878 yards and a Mountain West-leading 12 touchdowns in a breakout effort in 2021. He was ranked as the No. 33 overall player in the transfer portal, according to 247Sports.

Neyor, who was also considering Ole Miss, committed to the Longhorns one day after visiting the program. He’ll join a receiving corps led by rising sophomore Xavier Worthy, who had 62 catches for 981 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. 

Here’s what Neyor’s commitment means for the Longhorns, Volunteers and the rest of college football

Texas is upgrading its offense

Texas’ offense finished seventh in the Big 12 in passing offense at 225.4 yards per game, and coach Steve Sarkisian made a quarterback switch from Hudson Card to Casey Thompson following a 40-21 loss to Arkansas in Week 2. Sarkisian then lured former No. 1 overall prospect Quinn Ewers from Ohio State to Austin following the season to compete for the top spot on the depth chart, while Thompson transferred to Nebraska. 

Clearly, Sark is trying to create a culture of competition that permeates through the locker room during the offseason in the hopes of building something similar to what he had as the offensive coordinator at Alabama. He’s doing this across the board, too, adding former Crimson Tide tight end Jahleel Billingsley over the weekend

Sarkisian knows that his offense needs a face lift and has made a concerted effort to hit the portal hard in an attempt to beef up the talent.

It’s a big blow to Tennessee

Neyor was being counted on to take pressure off of rising senior Cedric Tillman, who passed on the NFL Draft after catching 64 passes for 1,081 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. The Vols lost senior wideouts Velus Jones Jr. and JaVonta Payton to the pros, and no other receiver on the roster had more than 230 yards last year. 

Coach Josh Heupel’s offense is attractive to receivers due to its tempo and goal of spreading the ball around. That should be more apparent this season now that Hendon Hooker is entrenched at the quarterback spot. As it stands now, Heupel will have to continue to search for Tillman’s top running mate in 2022.

Roster management never ends

The population of the transfer portal rivals that of a small city at this point, which means the job of coaches and staff members has become more complicated than ever. Not only are coaches dedicated to the high school trail, but to the portal as players come and go — something that is new to the landscape. Trying to construct a roster has become a never-ending cycle. 

Take Dillon Gabriel for example. The former UCF starting quarterback initially committed to UCLA, but flipped to Oklahoma on the same day that Sooners starter Caleb Williams announced his journey into the transfer portal. Neyor is just the latest in what should become a trend at the start of every academic semester as coaches scramble to fill roster gaps. 

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