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Former Longhorn RB Kyle Porter will have an impact on the Big 12 this season at Houston

Photo: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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A rash of transfer running backs leaving the Texas Longhorns football program at the outset of the 2019 offseason saw the depth of the Texas running back room dwindle greatly. One of the more significant losses in the room was fourth-year veteran Kyle Porter.

Among the two running backs Texas lost to the NCAA Transfer Portal this year, Porter and redshirt sophomore Toneil Carter had the most valuable and proven game experience. Porter wound up landing with former West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen and the Houston Cougars football program. Meanwhile, Carter linked up with an in-state FCS program in Sam Houston State.

Through the first two weeks of the 2019 regular season, Porter got more exposure in relevant game action than Carter. In the season opener for Houston, Porter was one of the team’s leading rushers in a 49-31 loss on the road to the Oklahoma Sooners. In that loss to Oklahoma, Porter registered 72 total yards and one receiving touchdown. He was one of two Houston running backs to nab a touchdown in the season opener.

Moreover, Porter was counted on again in Week 2 to help make an impact in the passing and rushing game. He helped block for senior star quarterback D’Eriq King in a win over FCS Prairie View A&M by the final score of 37-17. Where Porter really came through for the Cougars was on the ground. He tallied a team-leading 120 rushing yards and one score.

Next up for Porter and the Cougars is a Friday the 13th battle against the No. 20 Washington State Cougars. That will be another true test against a quality Power Five program where Porter’s experience will come in handy. He is currently the team’s leading rusher by a good margin and the fifth leading receiver.

However, what bearing does the play of Porter this season have on the Longhorns and the Big 12?

Since Porter was one of the more significant of the running backs to transfer out from Texas during the offseason, his absence is felt more now than ever. Texas is thin at running back right now thanks to a myriad of injuries that stemmed from fall camp through the season opener. Head coach Tom Herman would surely love to have Porter and Carter back with the team now.

Porter also contributed to Houston’s second half comeback against Oklahoma that ultimately fell two possessions short. Houston is also a Group of Five contender for a spot in a New Year’s Six Bowl, which could come against a Big 12 team, thanks to all their skill position talent.

Last but not least, Porter’s transfer to join a former Big 12 head coach like Holgorsen in the first year of the transfer portal could bridge a trendy new path for Big 12 skill position players. This transfer worked out pretty well for Porter so far, and he didn’t stray far from Austin in the process. The transfer for quarterback Shane Buechele to another Group of Five in-state program is also working out nicely.

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