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Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Burnt Orange Breakdown: Jaxon Shipley

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. 8 Jaxon Shipley
Junior wide receiver

Expectations for 2013: Shipley will be one of the keys for the Texas offense in 2013. He is one of only two returning starters at wide receiver and with Texas wanting to go with four receivers at times, his production and health are essential for the team’s success. Shipley has had some hamstring issues and missed the spring game because of those. So there is at least a modicum of concern about his health. But when he is healthy, Shipley has proven to be one of the most consistent playmakers on the team. That should hold true for 2013 as well.

Best-case scenario in 2013: Shipley had 59 catches in 2012 and it would not be a surprise if that number were to move closer to 100 in his junior season. Texas is committed to running 15 more offensive plays a game and committed to spreading the field more. Both of those trends should mean that Shipley has his hands on the ball more. His increased production should help Mike Davis avoid double teams on the outside as well as free up space for possible running back screens and plays as the defensive backs are forced to concentrate on Shipley's routes rather than jumping the run.

Worst-case scenario in 2013: Shipley has had some injury issues. He missed three games as a freshman with a leg injury and was out some of the spring with a hamstring problem. Texas cannot afford for Shipley to miss games in 2013. The Longhorns are very thin at receiver and the wide receivers they do have are very limited in their experience.

Future impact: Shipley should continue to be one of the top offensive producers for Texas. As the Longhorns move toward the spread offense, expect to see his numbers rise during his junior and senior seasons. He could be a 100-catch-a-year player and Texas has not had one of those since his brother Jordan was on campus in 2009.