- Max Olson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Editor's note: Before Texas' 2012 recruiting class arrives on campus, HornsNation will talk with each of the incoming freshman one more time before their college careers begin.
The 6-foot-4, 295-pound signee from Humble has big expectations for himself and isn't interested in redshirting this fall.
In an interview with HornsNation, Boyette Jr. explains why signing with the Longhorns was an easy decision and what makes him confident he'll make an impact at Texas.
HornsNation: Are you ready to finally become a Longhorn in a few weeks?
Paul Boyette Jr.: I'm looking forward to it a lot. This is my last week of school, so I'm really looking forward to it. I've been on top of my grades and working out every day.
HN: How is the Bennie Wylie workout plan going for you so far?
PB: Real good. At first I dropped 10 pounds of fat, and then I gained 10 or 12 pounds of muscle. So it's working real good. I'm about 295 or 300 pounds right now.
HN: Who are you going to live with in the dorms at Texas?
PB: Desmond Jackson, one of my best friends. We've been friends a long time. He didn't have to force me to be a Longhorn or anything, because I've wanted to be a Longhorn ever since I was 6 years old. That's just icing on the cake to be there with one of my best friends.
HN: I know you've had a lot of family members go to UT. Does that make this opportunity mean even more to you?
PB: Yes sir, it really does. It's a real eye-opener, you know? I mean, I had 27 offers. I could've went anywhere. But I didn't want to leave this state, so why not go where half of my family has already been? I love the atmosphere and I love the 40 Acres. I just love Austin.
HN: Tell me about that experience of landing all those offers. How difficult was it to settle on a school in February of your junior year?
PB: I can say it was difficult. When I committed in February, I still had plenty of colleges who were still calling me, asking me to decommit, asking me to come there for junior days or official visits to see their campuses. But my heart was sold on Texas. I wasn't going to go nowhere else.
HN: To have offers from schools like Alabama, Florida State, Oklahoma and all these big-time schools, was it tempting to wait things out more and do some visits?
PB: Yes it was. I wanted to see how many more offers I could rack up, but my heart was already sold on Texas when I went up there my sophomore year. It was a big test for me, but when it came down to it I knew where I wanted to be.
HN: Did you ever think about the fact you had that option to check out other schools during your senior season, or were you happy with sticking to your plan?
PB: I was sold on Texas ever since I committed. I mean, when I went up to The Opening in Oregon, it was a nice campus and everything and I already had an offer from Oregon. They tried to talk to me, but I'm not a disrespectful kid. I didn't feel any discomfort with my decision. I knew where I wanted to be. I love my coach, Bo Davis. He was recruiting me heavily at Alabama, so that was another icing on the cake for me. I love that whole coaching staff. I couldn't see myself playing anywhere else.
HN: Last season was Bo Davis' first at Texas. What do you like about him and his style as a position coach?
PB: The way the defensive tackles control the line, the different schemes, the different pass rush moves, all of it. I love all of it. When he was at Alabama, he used to send me workout tapes all the time and I'd study them. I used some of his moves my senior year with hand placement and controlling the offensive line. I got a chance to speak with Marcell Dareus, and that was a good feeling. He coached him and Terrence Cody and all those guys. He's already like a father figure to me.
HN: With Dareus, Cody and now Kheeston Randall, Davis has a good steak of putting defensive tackles in the NFL. Did that excite you?
PB: Yes, no doubt. That's on every kid's mind to go to the league, but you've got to get your degree first. I would love to be in the NFL. My dream and my goal is to be there, and I probably will be. I have the talent, but I've just got to keep getting better every day. I do think I can be drafted into the NFL, no doubt in my mind, with coach Davis coaching and everybody else making me better. The man has coached at every football level. He's the expert at the sport. He knows what he's talking about.
HN: Malcom Brown is a guy who was considered one of the best defensive tackles in the country in your class. Are you looking forward to playing next to him?
PB: Yeah, me and Malcom Brown are close friends. That's my brother right there. We mess around and goof around with each other. Us freshmen all have good friendships together. Malcom is my boy. He's always laughing and joking around. We talk about how we're going to come up there in the summer, put in work, get ready for the season and make a statement in the Big 12. My goal is to come in and play as a true freshman.
HN: Texas put 18 freshmen on the field last year. Do you like the opportunity you have at Texas to play right away?
PB: Yes sir, I really do. But it's about the mindset coming in that you're going to put in work and sacrifice for your team. That's the way I am. I'm not going to let anyone stop me from my dreams as a true freshman. When people say, 'Paul, are you going to redshirt?' No. I'm not going to redshirt. You've always got to have that mindset and that fire inside and you're not going there to sit for a year. I'm not going to be redshirting.
HN: Do you feel you have a lot to prove in this first year or that anyone is underestimating you?
PB: I don't think I'm under the radar at all. I know I'm good. Everyone has high expectations for me. Everybody. I know coach Davis and coach Applewhite and everybody on the Texas Longhorns staff has big plans for me and great expectations. I'm just getting started. Coming out of Humble, I was one of the highest-recruited people in Humble history. I have high expectations for myself. I'm a role model.
HN: You embrace that, don't you? Do you see it more as motivation or pressure?
PB: It's motivation. That's what it is. Motivation. You have that spark in you. Football is a mental game. It's physical and about being strong and fast, but what sets people apart is the mental game - the way you play, the effort you put in. What're you going to do when you're down and you need to get a stop or sack the quarterback or get a tackle behind the line? That's the way I play. That's how I was raised. I'm living my dream and I'm blessed.
1dEthan Sherwood Strauss