Only months into the Texas Longhorns career of Roschon Johnson, he was already at a fateful crossroads.
Ranked as the No. 6 dual-threat quarterback in the class of 2019, Johnson was coveted by programs like Florida, Florida State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M before choosing Texas and enrolling early. But during preseason camp, the Longhorns suffered a rash of injuries, prompting multiple position changes, including by Johnson, who recognized the need and made the selfless decision to tell his teammates that he was willing to contribute however necessary.
The position change was initially for short-term, emergency purposes, but even though Johnson planned to return to quarterback following his freshman season, the Port Neches-Groves product flashed his upside at the position in 2019, running for 121 yards on 21 carries against West Virginia and 23 carries for 105 yard and three touchdowns in the regular-season finale against Texas Tech. Johnson ultimately totaled 117 carries for 700 yards and seven touchdowns while adding 23 receptions for 158 yards and one touchdown.
Johnson decided to remain at running back, backing up Keaontay Ingram and Bijan Robinson over the following three seasons, totaling 2,190 rushing yards with 23 rushing touchdowns in his Texas career while serving as one of the team’s most consistent leaders and starring on multiple special teams units.
Johnson projects as the No. 90 pick to the Dallas Cowboys by ESPN with an NFL future that could be more productive than his time at Texas.
At the NFL Combine, Johnson didn’t show elite speed or athleticism in running a 4.58 40-yard dash and posting a 31.5-inch vertical, but at 219 pounds, he profiles as a power back with a downhill style and plenty of physicality to finish runs and break tackles. Johnson didn’t go through agility tests and doesn’t have a high-level jump cut or general change-of-direction ability, an area of deficit that he makes up for as an extremely strong pass protector, reliable pass catcher, and special teams standout who can play in all phases, skills that provide value past his running ability. Johnson was also one of the best team leaders in the Texas program over the last several seasons.