Jonathon Brooks, RB
Texas suffered a huge loss due to an injury last weekend when it lost Brooks for the season due to an ACL tear. This is terrible news for Texas and Brooks, as he was having a breakout season for the Longhorns and was firmly in contention for the Doak Walker Award as a semifinalist.
Brooks reached 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in his career this season. He also nearly reached 1,500 total yards from scrimmage before suffering the knee injury against TCU last weekend.
He was an incredibly important part of this Texas offense as the main cog that helped this inside zone ground (one of the bread-and-butter play calls for Sark) go this season.
Brooks was also a major contributor for Texas in the receiving game. He led all Big 12 running backs in receiving yards this season.
With Brooks out for the rest of the season, Texas will turn to true freshman running back CJ Baxter Jr. to shoulder the load in the backfield. Texas will also look for more out of sophomore running back Jaydon Blue, redshirt senior Keilan Robinson, and sophomore Savion Red down the stretch.
Baxter (40) and then Blue (29) have the most rushing attempts this season for the Longhorns after Brooks.
Regarding Brooks, his breakout season caused his 2024 NFL Draft stock to rise massively this fall. Pro Football Focus’s latest 2024 NFL Draft Big Board projected Brooks as the top running back in this draft class, ranking as the No. 59 overall prospect.
The likelihood that Brooks returns to Texas for another season is greater now that he has suffered the knee injury since he won’t be able to test for the 2024 NFL Draft. His decision is still up in the air for the draft, but it would make more sense for him to return to school for another year now compared to before the injury when his draft stock was trending up.