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MySanAntonio.com As Ingram and Johnson heal, Texas RB Daniel Young could be in line for bigger role

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AUSTIN – Back in 2017, running back Daniel Young looked like he could become, at the least, a solid contributor over the next few seasons.

The true freshman ran hard and emerged as the Longhorns’ de facto short-yardage bull. He wasn’t Ricky Williams or D’Onta Foreman, but Young led all Texas tailbacks with 386 yards (on 4.6 yards per carry) and scored four total touchdowns.

He seemed to have a place and a role on this team.

Last season Young was essentially squeezed out of the rotation by Cal graduate transfer Tre Watson and true freshman Keaontay Ingram. His role shifted and the touches, in turn, dwindled.

He finished with only 42 carries for 153 yards and failed to score a touchdown. And the bulk of those touches (31) came in UT’s first four games.

Young could have considered a fresh start elsewhere, as former teammates Kyle Porter (Houston), Toneil Carter (Sam Houston State) and Tristian Houston did in transferring out. He opted to return, even with precocious true freshman tailback Jordan Whittington now on the scene to battle for carries.

“I decided to stay at Texas because Texas has a lot to offer,” Young said. “And it’s all about the grind – just put your head down and work.”

Young has trimmed down, dropping from around 225 pounds to a muscle-coated 218. And he has worked diligently with running backs coach Stan Drayton to round into a more complete back.

“You never want to have a weak spot, you want to work on every aspect of the game,” Young said. “So I don’t limit myself to one aspect of anything.”

It was expected Young would begin the season down on the depth chart below Ingram and Whittington. But injuries to Ingram (knee) and fifth-year senior Kirk Johnson (clavicle) have left Texas with just two scholarship running backs...

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