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Thursday, July 25, 2013
Burnt Orange Breakdown: Cedric Reed

By William Wilkerson

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. 88 Cedric Reed
Junior defensive end

Expectations for 2013: The Longhorns have a huge hole to fill with Alex Okafor now in the NFL, and Reed is one of the top two candidates to replace him along with senior Reggie Wilson. Reed, who had better numbers than Wilson in 2012, needs to have a big season to help alleviate some of the pressure from Jeffcoat. He and Wilson will get the first opportunities at that, but there are several eager underclassmen waiting for their chance if he slips.

Best-case scenario for 2013: Reed begins the season the way he closed 2012, when he started the last six games. He averaged 5.5 tackles during those six starts and was second on the team with 13 QB pressures. If he can stay healthy, which he’s been able to so far throughout his career, he should be able to match those numbers, at worst, with the type of talent he’ll be playing with across Texas’ defensive front.

Worst-case scenario for 2013: Reed doesn’t play up to his standards and the Longhorns move forward with young defensive ends such as Shiro Davis, Caleb Bluiett and Bryce Cottrell.

Future expectations for Reed: he really started to come into his own at the end of last season when Jackson Jeffcoat went out with an injury. That should give him and Texas’ coaching staff enough confidence to give him the starting nod this fall. Even if that doesn’t happen, he’ll play a ton. With both Jeffcoat and Wilson leaving after the season, Reed will be the face of the position as a senior.