The battle for playing time at running back for the Texas Longhorns this fall will be an intense one and sophomore Kirk Johnson served noticed on Monday that he’s a name to remember in that battle with a long run that featured an incredible cut against redshirt freshman linebacker Cameron Townsend:
At the end of the play, Johnson earned some well-deserved congratulations from his younger brother Collin, the freshman wide receiver.
And, as noted, the effort won the “play of the day” honors from the Texas video team and showcased the high-level athletic ability that helped Johnson earn Nike SPARQ MVP honors two years ago at a camp in Oakland and justified the continued notice of Scipio Tex as a discounted contributor:
The conventional wisdom is that Johnson will be fighting for the #3 HB job with true freshman Kyle Porter, who showed up in Austin looking like an action figure. He might. Are we sure he’s not fighting for a #2 role? The actual requirements of our offense may have a more reliable opinion than the internet masses. Johnson has elite quickness, a choppy quick cut running style and before his season-ending injury against Texas Tech, he looking strong, amassing 3 carries for 32 yards.
This offense can use his skill set. Given the additional importance of the RB calling out some blocking assignments in pass protection, you have another X factor that will determine playing time. It’s a crowded Longhorn backfield, but a healthy KJ can get play.
As Scipio Tex notes, Johnson has a level of quickness that the other running backs can’t quite match, though junior D’Onta Foreman and sophomore Chris Warren are excellent for their size and freshman Kyle Porter is no slouch, either.
However, Johnson separates himself from the other Longhorns ball carriers in that area and it should help him see the field this fall and perhaps even make some more highlight-worthy plays when he does.