In 2012, the Texas Longhorns rushed for an impressive 2,229 yards. A total of 11 players got touches, but the majority of yards were gained by Jonathan Gray, Joe Bergeron and Malcolm Brown.
Although none of them rushed for 1,000 yards and individually they didn’t have great numbers, they showed last year that they will be a dynamic group of tailbacks during the 2013 season.
Even though Gray is just a sophomore, he has shown that he will be the featured back this fall and will probably get more touches than Bergeron and Brown. Gray is very versatile and had great games against his father James Gray’s alma mater Texas Tech as well as against Kansas. In 2012, Gray rushed for 701 yards on 149 attempts and found the end zone three times.With a year of experience under his belt, Gray should prove to be one of the better tailbacks in the league and will give the Longhorns a legitimate deep threat.
Listed at second on the 2013 depth chart is junior running back Malcolm Brown. Brown had a successful season in 2011, but in 2012, he got a lot less carries and ended up with 324 rushing yards and four touchdowns on just 61 carries. Brown may not see the bulk of carries this year, but I’d imagine he sees more than 61 attempts. He’s got to stay healthy and support Gray throughout the season. As a big running back at 6-foot 225-pounds, Brown will be looked at in red zone plays and will have to punch the ball into the end zone in shorter yardage situations.
Lastly, junior Joe Bergeron will need to provide support for both Gray and Brown. Bergeron had a pretty good season last year with 567 yards rushing and a crazy 16 touchdowns on 127 carries. It shows the depth that the ‘Horns have at running back as Bergeron would likely be a starter at almost every other Big 12 school. Bergeron is more similar to Brown in that he is big at 6-foot-1 230-pounds and can really be a bruiser within the red zone. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Brown and Bergeron really battle during fall camps and compete for more touches.
All in all, this trio could be one of the best group of backs in the country. If they can set the tone for the ‘Horns 2013 offense, it will make quarterback David Ash’s job much easier and should smooth things out for the offense overall. Be ready to see a lot of rushing yards this fall from this stable of running backs. As they combined for 1,592 yards together last year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them rush for 2,000+ yards this fall.