Sometimes, things do not always pan out as expected.
That is what sophomore wide receiver Cayleb Jones has to be feeling after recently deciding to transfer away from Texas after a single, troubling year in Austin.
The 6'3", 200-pound Austin native appeared in 10 games as a reserve wide receiver for the Longhorns in 2012 and caught two balls for 35 yards. But following some off-the-field issues, Jones' time at Texas has been apparently dwindling since January.
Fortunately for the Longhorns, the remaining 10 receivers on the roster is more than adequate to field a capable wide receiving corps. With the comfortable numbers, Texas has to feel well-prepared to handle the attrition.
Once Upon a Time
There was once a time when Jones was pinned to be a future fixture at wide receiver.
With size, good hands, athleticism and a passion for the Longhorns, he became a fan favorite even before he stepped onto campus.
Going into spring ball, Jones and fellow sophomore Kendall Sanders were jockeying for position to claim the No. 3 spot behind Mike Davis and Jaxon Shipley, and now that claim looks to be Sanders' to lose with no legitimate competition emerging right now.
There is no doubt that a head-straightened Jones could have been a difference-maker in the future, especially with Davis moving on after this season. A 2014 lineup that would have featured a senior Shipley alongside Jones and Sanders would be a confident bunch, but now Texas will have to look elsewhere.
Depth of Field
With Davis, Shipley and Sanders likely holding down the top starting spots, the rest of the group has a little better idea of where they stand.
Upperclassmen Bryant Jackson, John Harris and Miles Onyegbule have a much straighter shot at seeing the field now that Jones is firmly out of the picture, as does sophomore Marcus Johnson, who joined the program alongside Sanders and Jones as part of the 2012 recruiting class.
The newest Longhorns receivers—Jake Oliver, Montrel Meander and Jacorey Warrick—simply have one less player to contend with as they attempt to nestle a place in the ranks.
In truth, Jones' decision to transfer raises a few concerns about immediate depth, but with the hopeful progress of the youngsters like Sanders, Johnson, Oliver, Meander and Warrick, the future at the position is hardly in jeopardy.
The Bottom Line
While Jones was once a promising prospect, some players simply do not make it through the turnstiles.
Jones' unconditional release from the Texas program was hardly a surprise, but coming from an Austin native who was the first wide receiver to commit to the Longhorns, it came as a shock to some. At the end of the day, Texas has its pieces firmly in place to handle the loss.
Jones deserves the best of luck in his football and life endeavors.
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