Thursday, July 3, 2014
Burnt Orange Breakdown: Taylor Doyle
By Max Olson
Before Texas begins its first season under Charlie Strong, we're taking a deep dive into all the talent he inherits in 2014. Our Burnt Orange Breakdown series takes a closer look at each scholarship player returning this fall and what we can expect from him. We're going down the roster from No. 1 Shiro Davis all the way to No. 99 Desmond Jackson.
Recruitment rewind: A three-star offensive lineman from nearby Lake Travis High School in Austin, Doyle was a member of three of the Cavaliers' five consecutive state title teams. He overcame a broken ankle at the end of his junior season to earn all-state honors as a senior and chose Texas over offers from Baylor, Texas Tech, Arizona and Houston.
Career so far: Doyle redshirted in 2011 and worked with the scout team during the 2012 season. He played briefly in two games last season, as a reserve lineman against Kansas and on special teams at West Virginia, but that's the extent of his playing career. He's earned scout team player-of-the-week honors three times at Texas. Doyle emerged as the No. 1 right guard in the Texas spring game this year.
Best-case scenario for 2014: Doyle holds down the right guard spot all season long and gets the job done. He's not the physical freak up front like Desmond Harrison or Kent Perkins, but Doyle is entering his fourth year in the program and seems to have earned the respect of new line coach Joe Wickline so far. If he's solid, he can at least match the production of Mason Walters from a year ago.
Worst-case scenario for 2014: Rami Hammad and Perkins provide the biggest threat for the right guard job, and Sedrick Flowers appears to be fairly locked-in at the left guard spot. Hammad and Perkins are more touted and probably a little more talented, but both are second-year players and Hammad has no game experience. If either wins the job, Doyle might only play limited snaps this fall.
Future expectations: It's safe to say not too many Texas fans were familiar with Doyle when he took the field in April with the No. 1 offense. He's been overlooked and probably underrated in his time at Texas, but he took a big step toward changing that in the spring. If he becomes the Longhorns' starting right guard out of fall camp, he'll have to fight hard to keep the spot. Once practice begins Aug. 4, every day is going to matter a great deal for Doyle if he hopes to prove himself.