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Friday, June 28, 2013
Burnt Orange Breakdown: Paul Boyette

By Carter Strickland

During the summer, HornsNation will analyze each of the scholarship players on the Texas roster -- excluding the Longhorns' 2013 recruiting class -- in our Burnt Orange Breakdown series. Starting with No. 1 Mike Davis, we will go through the roster numerically, finishing with No. 99 Desmond Jackson.

No. 50 Paul Boyette Jr.
Freshman defensive tackle

Expectations for 2013: A lot of watching and learning. Boyette is a freshman at what is one of the deepest positions on the field for Texas. The Longhorns have four players who could start at defensive tackle and will probably not have to dip beyond that for a player. So it is not likely that Boyette will see any significant time unless the game is a blowout.

Best-case scenario for 2013: That Boyette does watch and learn because he is going to be thrown into the mix in 2014. Texas is going to lose two defensive tackles after the 2013 season and will need Boyette to be ready to be a part of the rotation that year. In order to be ready, Boyette has to be engaged and stay focused throughout the season even though he is not going to be an integral player in 2013. That is not always an easy job. Boyette already has the size and strength to play defensive tackle, but he does not have the footwork, leverage skills or the skills with his hands necessary to compete. These are all things that must be improved throughout 2013 for Boyette to be a significant player in 2014.

Worst-case scenario for 2013: Like all young players, Texas needs to take its time in bringing Boyette along and make sure he learns the correct way to do things before he is thrown into the game. It might be strange to say, but if Texas’ offense does produce like the Longhorns want it to and several games become blowouts, it might actually be detrimental for Boyette. It will put him in games before he is really ready and possibly give him a false sense of security that he can handle this level of football when in fact he is not ready. On the flip side, getting him on film might help correct some early bad habit that are sure to form.

Future expectations: Boyette should start to impact the program in 2014 and beyond. It’s unlikely he will be a starter in 2014 but should contend for that role as a junior in 2015. Texas has recruited very well at the defensive tackle position, and Boyette should be one of those players who helps keep this position one of the strongest in the program for the next several years.