- 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 takes a closer look at each scholarship player returning this fall and what we can expect from them. We're going down the roster from No. 1 Shiro Davis all the way to No. 99 Desmond Jackson.
No. 14 Chevoski Collins
Redshirt freshman defensive back
Recruitment rewind: The ESPN 300 four-star athlete chose Texas over Oklahoma in October 2012 after taking multiple visits to both schools. At Livingston (Texas) High, Collins played on both sides of the ball. He accounted for 60 total touchdowns on offense and snagged six interceptions on defense in his final three seasons, playing quarterback and defensive back.
Career so far: Collins redshirted last fall and put on more than 10 pounds in the weight room. He played wide receiver at the start of fall camp but made a transition to defensive back. In the Orange-White game this spring, Collins got a bunch of playing time at safety with the No. 2 defense.
Best-case scenario for 2014: Collins should follow in the footsteps of so many past successful "DBU" defenders and make a name for himself on special teams this fall. Just ask Kenny Vaccaro what showing out in that aspect of the game can do for your future. The production Texas has received from safeties not named Vaccaro has been spotty at best, and if that continues, Collins could get a chance back there at some point in the season.
Worst-case scenario for 2014: Only a few defensive backs on Texas' roster had the luxury of redshirting in their first year in the program. Collins and the rest of Texas' DB class of 2013 did not have to play last season, but there's enough experience ahead of them that not many will need to this year, either. Collins might be relegated to special teams for a year, and he'll have a better shot of playing on defense a year from now.
Future expectations: Don't underestimate what Collins could end up doing for this team down the road. He's capable of playing safety and corner and might be an asset in nickel and dime coverage someday. He's also capable of returning kicks, if given a chance to show his talent there. If Texas wasn't so stacked at receiver from a numbers standpoint, you'd think the door might even still be open for him to play some offense. Basically, there's no telling where Collins will end up; it wil just depend on what he proves to his new coaches in his first year on the field.
935dMax Olson and William Wilkerson
942dWilliam Wilkerson and Max Olson