August 12, 2010

Back from injury, UT commit has big goals

If Taylor Doyle never sees another pair of crutches in his life he will be a happy man.

The 6-5, 270-pound Lake Travis offensive lineman has seen more than his fair share of crutches since breaking his ankle during the Cavaliers third straight state title win in December, making for a long, long off-season.

"I worked hard this off-season trying to get the ankle back to 100-percent. I was doing upper body the whole time so the upper body is fine," Doyle said. "Three weeks before two-a-days I got a call from my offensive line coach, coach Spano, and he called me and said he had already talked to the physical therapist and I'm going four days a week until two-a-days. That was definitely good for me and I told him, "Alright, coach. I'll see you there.' So I've been going to physical therapy nearly every single day and that has really helped me."

It has been a long, tough road back, but Doyle was ready to go when two-a-days started. He is now back working at his right tackle position and getting back into his groove.

"The first practice was pretty rough because I was working out, but I really wasn't working out in the heat, with all the guys, with the knee braces, and the helmets," he said. "After the first couple days it's fun to be back on the field and I wouldn't want to be any other place right now."

As for the ankle?

"The ankle feels fine. Honestly I haven't even noticed it. I'm having more problems with my other ankle right now than the one I broke. So it's doing well," he said with a laugh.

Doyle and Lake Travis hold their first scrimmage Saturday before another week of practice topped with a scrimmage against Bastrop. Then the Cavaliers, with first year head coach Hank Carter leading the way, begin their quest for a fourth straight championship.

"I think we have it. We have a pretty good team this year," Doyle said. "With (Michael) Brewer playing quarterback, and we have a lot of new guys who have stepped up along with a lot of older guys who are great leaders. It's going to be tough, but I think we have a shot."

It will not be easy. Lake Travis begins the journey with an opening week match-up against Austin Westlake at Darrell K. Royal-Memorial Stadium. Then to close out the regular season and district play the Cavaliers take on a talented Cedar Park squad and Chet Moss.

"Me and Chet are pretty good friends and he always tries to tell me this is Cedar Park's year to win state and they're going to beat us. We'll see. I know they'll be a pretty good team this year, so it will be a fun game."

After he and his teammates hopefully grab another ring, Doyle plans to join former Lake Travis standouts Paden Kelley and Garrett Gilbertat Texas. Doyle was one of the first commitments of the Longhorns 2010 class, choosing the Longhorns over offers from Arizona, Auburn, Baylor, Houston, Texas Tech, and Tulsa in February.

"I'm really excited to be committed to Texas right now," Doyle said. "I've lived in Austin my whole life, so I've grown up watching the Longhorns play football. Just knowing I have an opportunity to play there motivates me to play harder."

The thought about graduating early to join the team as soon as possible has crossed his mind, but Doyle will wait to enroll at Texas. However, that does not mean he will be keeping his distance from the team.

"I talked about it, but just living in Austin we're so close, and it would be really hard for me to work out my schedule to make that happen," he said. "So we just decided and I have it setup where I am off-campus the first two periods in the second semester so I can go down and watch the practices and then come back and make it for school. I actually got the idea from Garrett Gilbert because he couldn't graduate early."

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