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Texas experimenting with RB Chris Warren III at H-back

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“Standing him on the sideline is probably not his best role on the team.”

San Jose State v Texas Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The leading rusher for the Texas Longhorns is now leading rushers for the team.

With 314 rushing yards and six touchdowns, junior Chris Warren III still leads the ‘Horns in both categories, but after losing playing time to Toneil Carter and Daniel Young recently, Warren made his debut as an H-back on Saturday against the Kansas Jayhawks.

“We had decided that with the offensive line inexperience that the two freshmen running backs were going to probably get a lot more carries here these final half of the season, because of their elusiveness a little bit and ability to break tackles.”

The lack of those abilities had decreased Warren’s work in the preceding weeks. Meanwhile, a lack of depth the Y tight end position perhaps caused Herman to admit that he didn’t know about Warren’s future at the running back position.

“I think the decision was led by, obviously, necessity, one,” Herman said. “We needed some more physicality at that position.”

Whether the move was always in the works or Herman had a subsequent revelation, Warren saw significant action at the H-back as the staff sought to take advantage of his skill set.

“So you've got a 6'2", 245, 250-pound kid that can run and bend, can catch the football, that loves his team and he's a great kid and is a hard worker,” Herman said. “Standing him on the sideline is probably not his best role on the team.”

As the number of carries for Warren had decreased in recent weeks, he had mostly distinguished himself in the passing game and as a blocker. Against Oklahoma, he had four catches for 55 yards.

Herman admitted that the move is still experimental — Warren is listed on the depth chart at running back and tight end this week — and that it’s difficult to ask a player to adjust to such a large change with so few games left in the season.

“Obviously, that's a tough spot to put him in with just a few weeks left,” Herman said. “Hey, go learn a new position. So we're very careful with what we're asking him to do on a week-to-week basis, and make sure that the package that we have for him is consumable by him and executable by him.”