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fUTure19 Recap and Participation Tracker: Week 2 - LSU

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Several freshman saw the field on Saturday, including Jake Smith, who registered his first career touchdown.

LSU v Texas Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Jake Smith scored his first career touchdown with the Texas Longhorns and Roschon Johnson impressed once again in his backup running back role. See below which other true freshman contributed in Texas’ valiant losing effort against LSU.

The NCAA redshirt rule, which made its debut last season, allows scholarship players to play up to four games without burning their redshirt. To keep track of how many games each freshman has appeared in throughout the season, I’ll list the number of games next to their names.

The eight freshman participants from week two included — WR Jake Smith (2), TE Jared Wiley (2), CB Chris Adimora (2), QB/RB Roschon Johnson (2), LB David Gbenda (2), S Tyler Owens (2), DE T’Vondre Sweat (2), LB Marcus Tillman (2).

Injured/DNP — RB Jordan Whittington (1), WR Marcus Washington (1), CB Kenyatta Watson (1), OT Javonne Sheperd (1).

fUTure19 Game Notes and Highlights

  • Smith’s touchdown came on a crucial 3rd and 10 play, where he ran a short post route and sealed off the inside against the LSU defensive backs. LSU safety Grant Delpit tried to jar the ball loose late, but Smith out-muscled him for it and held on for dear life. What a play by the freshman.

That was his only reception of the game. There has already been at least two or three instances this season when Ehlinger has overthrown him on routes where Smith’s had plenty of space ahead of him. We’ve yet to see Smith’s true speed after the catch. The run-pass option concepts are a nice addition to the offense, and Smith will certainly play a big role as Texas expands on that.

  • Roschon Johnson brought a lot of energy to the offense in this one, especially on the first offensive drive of the second half. While fighting forward for every extra yard, he averaged 4.6 yards per carry on seven carries against that vaunted SEC defense. He also picked up a number of blitzes, helped block downfield, and caught a few passes out of the backfield. Johnson finished with 49 total yards on 10 touches.

On night in which Keaontay Ingram didn’t look like himself after that drop in the end zone, Johnson put forth his full-effort and was ready to compete. That kind of effort can go a long way going forward. Depending on how things work out at running back, he just may have a future at that position. Behind Ingram, he should see an increased workload against Rice this week.

I’m waiting for the day when Tim Beck breaks out a double-pass with Johnson as the receiver/thrower. That’ll be fun.

Head coach Tom Herman spoke on Johnson’s performance during his press conference earlier today:

“Roschon looks like he’s been doing it for a while. Fifteen days he’s been playing the position... That was as good of a defense we’ve played around here in a while.”

  • 320-pound defensive end T’Vondre Sweat saw action as the backup defensive end to Ta’Quon Graham. He did not record any stats.
  • Linebacker David Gbenda took snaps with the second-string offense at running back before the game and played on special teams. Depending on the score of the game, it’ll be interesting to see if Gbenda gets any action at running back on Saturday.
  • Adimora, Owens, Tillman, and Wiley all appeared on special teams, as well.