- Max Olson, ESPN Staff Writer
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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 will take 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.
No. 23 Nick Rose
Recruitment rewind: Rose really snuck under the radar publicly throughout Texas' recruiting for the Class of 2012, especially because the Longhorns already had a scholarship kicker in the class in Nick Jordan. Rose announced his commitment on signing day and walked on to the program. He was recruited out of Dallas Highland Park primarily for kickoffs and punts.
Career so far: Rose took over kickoff duties from Day 1 and earned high praise from former coach Mack Brown for his efforts. As a true freshman, he recorded touchbacks on 30 of his 82 kicks. He was put on scholarship before his sophomore season and was solid again, with touchbacks on 32 of 75 kickoffs. Since his career began, Rose ranks among the top 30 nationally in touchbacks and number of times an opponent started inside the 25.
Best-case scenario for 2014: Texas has no Anthony Fera and a new special teams coach in Chris Vaughn, meaning who knows what to expect from that unit this fall. Exiting spring ball, the expectation seems to be that Rose is the leading choice for placekicker. He made a 40-yarder and missed from 55 (though he had the distance) in the spring game and has already showcased a powerful leg in his time in burnt orange. Texas just needs him to be accurate and consistent on the 20 to 25 attempts he'll get this fall.
Worst-case scenario for 2014: If the ceiling is that Rose fares well in his first year as Texas' placekicker, the floor is really just this: Someone else takes hold of the placekicking duties and Rose goes back to booming kickoffs. If he's not kicking the field goals and extra points, it's not like he's going to lose his niche spot.
Future expectations: Texas has produced two exceptional kickers in the past three seasons in Justin Tucker and Fera. While it's premature to compare Rose to either -- since we've only ever seen him do one thing in a regular-season setting -- that's the bar he'll attempt to reach in these next two seasons.