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Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Burnt Orange Breakdown: Cayleb Jones

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. 4 Cayleb Jones
Sophomore wide receiver

Expectations for 2013: Jones was moving right through spring and appeared to be a lock for Texas’ third option at wide receiver until he found himself in trouble with the law. Jones was suspended from the team after being charged with assault and missed the last two weeks of spring and the spring game, His charge has been reduced to a misdemeanor and the expectation is that will clear the way for him to be back on the field in the fall. But Texas coach Mack Brown said he wanted the legal process to run its course before further addressing Jones’ suspension.

Best-case scenario in 2013: If Jones gets back on the field, and at this point everything is pointing to the fact that he should, Texas needs him to be a productive receiver who can fill the shoes of Marquise Goodwin. While Jones does not have the breakaway ability of Goodwin and is not as versatile, he can come in and use his length on the outside and his toughness across the middle to help give David Ash another reliable target. Jones has very good hands and a willingness to go get the ball in traffic as well as sacrifice his body diving for the ball. He plays the ball very well in the air and should also help take pressure off Mike Davis on deep routes.

Worst-case scenario in 2013: While Jones will most likely be back in the fold, there is a chance he could have regressed, at least mentally and emotionally, while away from the team. There is a trust factor that goes with being a member of the team and Jones might have lost some of that with his teammates. If he is not able to regain it and pick up right where he left off in the spring Jones could be in for another learning year in which he does not contribute more than 10 catches.

Future impact: Jones should have been used more as a freshman and has the potential to become a solid receiver for Texas in the future. He is not going to be a breakaway player. But he can be a 50-catch player who takes pressure away from others and provides the 10- to 12-yard pickups when they are needed.