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Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Burnt Orange Breakdown: Chris Whaley

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. 96 Chris Whaley
Senior defensive tackle

Expectations for 2013: Whaley, who began his career at Texas as a running back, is as athletic as any DT on the roster. If he can use his speed like he did last season, when he led all DTs in pass breakups, he should maintain his roll as one of the top tackles on the depth chart.

Best-case scenario for 2013: Whaley is a key contributing member to the teeth of that Longhorns defense. That’s the plan for Texas defensive tackles coach Bo Davis, who has several viable options to work with. Whaley might be the most athletic of them all. If he plays like it, he should surpass the 22 tackles he tallied in 2012, which were fourth amongst DTs.

Worst-case scenario for 2013: Whaley doesn’t produce and is on the outside looking in at a crowded, and talented, group of DTs. Ashton Dorsey, Malcom Brown and Desmond Jackson are going to play because they’re that good. Whaley is as well. But if he doesn’t play well Texas has other options it could turn to.

Future expectations for Whaley: It’s a huge year for any senior with aspirations of going to the NFL. Whaley’s background as a former running back should appeal to those making decisions on Sunday. He’s in a similar situation to what former Longhorn and current Chicago Bears DE Henry Melton was in during his senior season.