Overlook at own risk

It's as if 2014 Texas running back commitment Donald "Duke" Catalon took a page from The Duke himself in how he goes about his business.

The four-star recruit is to the point, quiet in personality but loud in results much like John Wayne.

If you asked him to explain the craze surrounding 140 characters, he'd look at you sideways because he doesn't deal with social media.

He doesn't care to self-promote, which is a breath of fresh air to many, but it could also explain why he feels like he'll embark on his career as a Longhorn a bit overlooked for someone rated No. 27 at his position in the country.

"I think they are underestimating me," he said. "They are going to see, the running backs now are good but they don't have that breakout to get away from everyone. I can bring that and catch out of the backfield."

Don't mistake that for brashness. Catalon is the exact opposite. View it as a player that doesn't open up much, who is simply expressing his feelings.

By all accounts he has the talent to back up his claims.

Catalon saw his role increase dramatically from his 22 carries (for 142 yards) as a freshman to his sophomore season when he carried the ball 165 times for 1,148 yards and six touchdowns.

He played parts of his junior season with a broken left big toe but still managed to rush for a team-high 155 times for 1,076 yards and seven touchdowns. He also caught nine passes for 128 yards and a score.

"I guess the adrenaline took over," Catalon said. "I wouldn't feel it until after the play and it would swell up. I couldn't bend it. After practice and games it was really hard for me to walk."

The injury required surgery and also for him to play his senior season with a protective metal plate around his toe.

Despite that limited mobility, Catalon rushed 123 times for 765 yards (6.22 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns. He also caught 17 passes for 311 yards and two scores for a team that went 4-7.

To put those numbers into a bit of perspective, Eisenhower went 4-7 in 2013 and was often limited with what it could do offensively.

Catalon said he is 100 percent now and ready for what lies ahead, even if it isn't a ton of playing time early with %%MATCH_3%% and %%MATCH_5%% heading into their senior seasons, and junior-to-be %%MATCH_1%% working his way back from injury.

"I want to see the field but I know I wont get that much playing time," he said. "That's OK with me."

Catalon, who also had offers from SMU and %%MATCH_6%%, was one of three running backs the Longhorns signed in 2014 along with three-star D'Onta Foreman (%%MATCH_7%% City, Texas) and three-star %%MATCH_4%% (Newton, Texas); Shorter suffered a career-threatening spinal injury in October and is unlikely to continue his playing career.

He was actually the third player to commit to Texas in 2014, and stood strong behind the Longhorns throughout all of the coaching turmoil.

"I had some questions that I asked [former running backs] Coach [Larry] Porter," said Catalon, who sports a fresh Longhorns helmet tattoo on his right forearm. "He told me to wait until they found out whom they were bringing in. So I waited and they made a good pick."

This particular good pick to Catalon was new running backs coach Tommie Robinson, who came over from %%MATCH_8%% where he held the same position.

"It all depended on the running back coach," he said. "When Coach Porter left, Coach Robinson came in and he was already trying to get me to go to USC. So I figured I would stay. He came down to see me one time. He told me he coached in the NFL."

Robinson wasn't the only selling point for Catalon, who was also quickly sold on %%MATCH_2%%'s way of doing things.

"They are cool, good coaches," he said. "Charlie Strong is about business. He wants to win. That's cool with me. Coach Strong is eager to get into the season right now."

Since his season ended, Catalon has been working to gain the additional 10 pounds Texas' staff wants him to put on his 200-pound frame. He's also focused on improving his hips, which he said tend to get a little tight at times.

Here's some video of Catalon:

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