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Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Burnt Orange Breakdown: FB De La Torre

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. 36 Alex De La Torre
Sophomore fullback

Expectations for 2013: De La Torre could get lost in the shuffle as Texas moves to a new spread offense. While many of the plays Texas elects to run will be the same, rather than utilizing a fullback in two-back sets it appears as if the Longhorns would rather go with two running backs, therefore maximizing the potential threats they have on the field. The passing game is going to be more fast-paced and won't require as many seven-step drops and extended blocking. Therefore Texas may not feel the need to use a fullback to chip on the edge. As for a lead blocker, if Texas goes with two-back sets it may elect to use running back Joe Bergeron as a lead blocker.

Best-case scenario for 2013: De La Torre is best suited for special teams play at this point in his career. If he could develop his hands, the sophomore might be a useful fullback out of the backfield. Texas does have a fullback option pass play it likes to run near the goal line. Ryan Roberson was successful at that play last year against Ole Miss. Beyond the occasional appearance on offense, De La Torre is mainly going to be on kickoff coverage and possibly punt coverage. He is a former linebacker, so he does have the tackling skills. He also had one tackle on special teams in 2012.

Worst-case scenario in 2013: De La Torre has already moved positions once, from linebacker to fullback, and now, through no fault of his own, has had the necessity of position drastically reduced because of a change in offensive philosophy. It’s easy for the coaching staff to forget about a player who is not at the forefront of the depth chart or the gameplan. Additionally, any touches De La Torre could get might be given to someone playing the H-back position. That seems to be an ever-increasing cast, with Jalen Overstreet possibly being a guy that fits in that role now as well.

Future expectations: Barring a reversal of the offensive mindset again it appears as if De La Torre is a player without a solid position on the offense. Texas is not going to change him back to defense, because it is loaded up at linebacker. The positive for De La Torre and Texas is that he is the son of a coach and knows how to make the most out of the opportunities that he does get. Most of those opportunities will be on special teams. But he could get a moment or two to shine on offense as well.