Texas football RB Jonathon Brooks ‘makes the game look easy’

Jonathon Brooks, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Jonathon Brooks, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

Roughly one week into bowl practice for head coach Steve Sarkisian and No. 20 ranked Texas football, there are some younger players that are stepping up into bigger roles for the postseason. Texas has some key opt-outs for the Alamo Bowl against the No. 12 ranked Washington Huskies, namely star junior running back Bijan Robinson and senior Roschon Johnson.

Senior linebacker DeMarvion Overshown is also opting out of the Alamo Bowl to prepare for the 2023 NFL Draft.

The absences of Bijan and Roschon will mean that Texas must see other backs such as redshirt freshman Jonathon Brooks and redshirt junior Keilan Robinson step up in the spotlight. The former of those two Texas running backs is getting the bulk of the first-team reps in practice leading up to the Alamo Bowl.

Brooks seems to be making quite the impression, though, on the players and the coaching staff in the early stages of bowl practice. He caught the attention of the coaches and some in the Texas media right from the beginning of Alamo Bowl practice.

And it sounds like he keeps getting better the more first-team reps he gets.

According to a report from Horns247 on Dec. 15 (paid content), Roschon said that Brooks just “glides and makes the game look easy”. He added onto that by saying that “running back is not easy”, emphasizing how natural Brooks is looking at the position.

Texas football RB Jonathon Brooks making a big impression on Roschon Johnson

Brooks is clearly making strides in bowl practice thus far. He seems to be taking full advantage of this opportunity afforded to him to get the first-team reps at running back in the absence of Bijan and Roschon.

Granted, it probably helps that Bijan and Roschon are still present at bowl practice for the Longhorns essentially coaching up and supporting the rest of the players on the team.

Moreover, Brooks is going to be a breakout player to watch in the Alamo Bowl. He’s played well when given the opportunity in the last couple of years. There was no better example of that than Brooks’ impressive performance in Texas’ dominant win over the Kansas Jayhawks on the road on Nov. 19, where he went off for more than 100 rushing yards and two scores on just 11 carries.

Brooks also has yet to average fewer than five yards per carry in the half-dozen games he’s had at least one rushing attempt in the last two seasons.

If Brooks can prove himself in the bowl game, that will go a long way to inspiring more confidence in this running back room heading into the offseason. He’s likely to compete with the incoming five-star recruit and Edgewater (FL) product Cedric Baxter Jr. for the first-team reps out of the backfield in 2023.

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Texas has a record of 8-4 (6-3 Big 12) heading into the postseason after a 38-27 win over the Baylor Bears at home in the regular season finale on Nov. 25. Kick-off time between Texas and Washington in the Alamo Bowl at the Alamodome in San Antonio is set for 8 p.m. CT on Dec. 29.