Nov 10, 2012; Austin, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns running back Johnathan Gray (32) runs the ball for a touchdown against the Iowa State Cyclones in the fourth quarter at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Texas defeated Iowa State 33-7. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Longhorns Spring Practice Preview: Running Backs

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Spring practices have begun and from February 19th until February 27th, Hook’em Headlines will preview each position group and tell you what to expect from the 2013 Texas Longhorns.

February 19th: Offensive Line

February 20th: Tight Ends

February 21st: Wide Receivers

Coach:

Larry Porter will be in his first year at Texas. He was the running backs coach for Arizona State in 2012 and the Head Coach at the University of Memphis for 2 seasons before being terminated after the 2011 season.

Starter

Jonathan Gray will be the starter for the Texas Longhorns.

Key Reserves

Joe Bergeron will be the short yard running back for the team. Malcolm Brown’s role isn’t as definitive as he would like it to be. Will he get the ball 10-15 times a game or will he be more of a situational back? Time will tell but he will need to define that role in the spring.

Spring Outlook: 

The starting running back doesn’t seem to be in question. Jonathan Gray is the most durable and productive option at the running back position. There is no question that Malcolm Brown has the skills to be a starter but durability is the biggest question mark. Joe Bergeron’s role will stay the same. But what will the role of the running backs be in this offense? Mack Brown said he wanted to be like Oklahoma’s no huddle offense where they were able to run the ball from under center. But for how long will they continue to do that if it isn’t working? It’s not the running backs that aren’t making their blocks but their stats suffer because of the offensive line’s inability to knock the opposing team out of the play. This is a crucial year for Mack Brown. It is a make or break year, he has to win. He needs a strong running game to have a chance at winning the Big 12. If that is going to happen, all 3 running backs will have to make significant contributions to this team.

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