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.
No. 77 Kennedy Estelle
Junior offensive tackle
Recruitment rewind: The Under Armour All-American from Pearland (Texas) Dawson had offers from all over the country (USC, Alabama, Florida State, Auburn, Notre Dame and Oregon to name a few) but chose the Longhorns after attending a UT summer camp before his senior year. Estelle, a 6-foot-7, 310-pound tackle, was the No. 1 offensive line prospect in Texas and a top-10 in-state recruit.
Career so far: Estelle played in three games as a true freshman backup but missed six games with a left shoulder injury. He broke into the starting lineup in 2013 when Josh Cochran went down and earned starts in eight of Texas' nine conference games. He earned relatively good reviews for his performance, but Estelle was also suspended for the Alamo Bowl vs. Oregon after being ruled academically ineligible.
Best-case scenario for 2014: Estelle appears to be on the right track academically under Charlie Strong's staff, a necessary commitment in order to keep his starting job at right tackle. At 6-foot-7 and 285 pounds, Estelle brings impressive size and a solid year of playing experience to the table.
Worst-case scenario for 2014: Strong has zero tolerance for players who don't buy in all the way on their academic responsibilities. He won't be afraid to find someone else at right tackle if Estelle falls short of those expectations. If Desmond Harrison doesn't play up to his great potential, offensive line coach Joe Wickline could move Estelle over to left tackle. That switch isn't as easy as it sounds, but might be necessary if others don't step up.
Future expectations: Estelle could definitely develop into a three-year starter at right tackle, which would be a big plus for the imminent future of this group. The Longhorns lost a big piece of the puzzle up front when Cochran, a 23-game starter, ended his playing career this offseason due to a recurring shoulder injury. A healthy and eligible Estelle answers a big question mark and can be a major asset for Wickline in these next two years.