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Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Burnt Orange Breakdown: Caleb Bluiett

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. 42 Caleb Bluiett
Freshman defensive end

Expectations for 2013: There's a huge upside with Bluiett as he showed during the spring game. Granted, he was matched up against inexperienced tackles and a patchwork offensive line but Bluiett proved that the redshirt year was more than worth it as he displayed strength and speed throughout the spring. And this performance was from a guy who was looked at as a possible tight end throughout his redshirt season. Bluiet is unlikely to see significant playing time in 2013 as he is still getting used to the defensive end position at this level. But he will have the opportunity to watch and learn both at home and, more importantly, on the road behind Jackson Jeffcoat, Shiro Davis, Cedric Reed and Reggie Wilson.

Best-case scenario for 2013: Bluiett looks like a guy who is going to see action in the second half of some games if Texas can get a lead. He showed enough in spring practices that the coaching staff is going to want to take a good hard look at him in live action to see if he is someone they can depend on in the future. If he has a strong showing against New Mexico State in the opener that could lead to some serious discussion about how and when to play him as the season progress. Again, he is deep on the depth chart but is seen as a fast riser in the program.

Worst-case scenario for 2013: Jeffcoat has been an injury-prone player and if that happens again and Bluiett is thrown into a backup role before he is ready it could be harmful for Texas. Bluiett is not a player who is ready for 25 or 30 snaps a game just yet. He needs to be seasoned on his technique and to get stronger up top before he is ready to be a solid contributor. Right now he is the fifth or sixth option at defensive end and that is really where he needs to remain throughout this season.

Future expectations: It is not beyond the realm of possibility that Bluiett could be starting for Texas by 2014. More likely it will 2015. But Jeffcoat is gone after this year and Bluiett will get a chance to compete against the three remaining defensive ends for some serious time during his sophomore year He appears on track to be a solid contributor in 2014 and possibly a mainstay on the defense in his junior and senior seasons.