Senior center Taylor Doyle isn’t one to speak out of turn.
His teammates commend his blue-collar, well mannered attitude. They emphasize that he’s a player who leads with actions more than words.
“He’s got a high character,” senior tight end Alex De La Torre said. “He works hard. It’s always ‘yes sir, no sir.’ He’s just a dude who goes and works and doesn’t say much — just the type of player you want to have.”
But Doyle’s teammates listen when he decides to speak up. Texas held a players-only meeting following the team’s 30-27 loss to Oklahoma State in late September. Doyle, set on jumpstarting the Longhorns’ season, stood up and spoke to the team — and there was no doubt that his words resonated.
“Taylor Doyle said it best,” sophomore defensive end Naashon Hughes said on Sept. 28. He said, “We are at a critical point. We can take a step back and have a terrible season. Or, we can come together, get this back on track and get going again.’”
The team answered Doyle’s call two weeks later when Texas shocked No. 5 Oklahoma with a 24-17 victory at the Cotton Bowl. The win sparked the Longhorns’ only consecutive wins this season. While it’s been a bumpy road since, Doyle’s words embody his passion for the game and as a leader on the team.
“You look at Taylor Doyle and what he’s done for this offense,” head coach Charlie Strong said. “The reason why our offensive line is playing so well is because of some of the things that he’s doing.”
Doyle hasn’t always been the critical piece he is today. In fact, he rarely saw the field before his junior season. Strong and his staff decided to shake up the offensive line after BYU stifled Texas’ offense early last season. The coaches inserted Doyle into the starting lineup for the team’s next game. Since then, he’s started every game and become a staple of Texas’ offensive line.
Now, Doyle anchors a line featuring two true freshman starters. His coaches count on him as a senior to bring consistency to the unit. Additionally, his younger teammates rely on his guidance and feed off of his attitude.
“He’s a good role model,” freshman tackle Connor Williams said. “He’s someone I can turn to. I really go to him for help on the plays and everything.”
Doyle will play his final home game against Texas Tech on Thursday. He said he wasn’t expecting to finish his career at Texas with back-to-back losing seasons. However, true to his blue-collar, no-complaints attitude, he said he wouldn’t trade his experience for anything else.
“We’ve had a lot of change, a lot of ups and downs, but I can’t imagine playing college football anywhere else,” Doyle said. “When you talk about the great places to play, you think of Texas, and the relationships I’ve built and the teams and the teammates I’ve been able to play with — it’s truly been a blessing.”