Top Texas football plays of 2013, No. 8: Johnathan Gray chip block vs. KSU

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Counting down the top 10 plays of the Texas football season.

There are few more selfless acts on a football field for a running back than blocking in pass protection, whether it's stopping a blitzing linebacker or safety dead in their tracks or chipping a defensive end on the way out of the backfield.

When all summed up, it's a position that involves a lot more than carrying the football or even catching the football out of the backfield.

Texas Longhorns running back Johnathan Gray understands what it takes to be a complete back and nowhere was it more apparent than a play early in the game against the Kansas State Wildcats.

Coming out of the backfield, Gray chipped Wildcat defensive end Ryan Mueller.

Well, calling it a chip would seem to denigrate Gray's effort on the play -- more precisely, Gray lowered his shoulder into Mueller, lifted him off the ground, and planted him into the turf at Darell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in quite unceremonious fashion.

The hit knocked the wind out of Mueller, who went on to record 18.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks on the season, and sent him to the sideline to recover. Mueller weighs 245 pounds. Gray weighs 208.

On a day when Gray gained a career-high 141 rushing yards and scored two touchdowns, along with breaking a few open-field tackles, his best play of the entire evening was the hit that he put on Mueller.

When commentators talk about players who "get it," Johnathan Gray should be at the center of the discussion.

It's not easy to recover from an Achilles injury, but if any player in college football has the work ethic and dedication to make it back, it's the record-setting former prep star from Aledo.

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