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MySanAntonio.com How a former walk-on DB and freshman LB became Texas' emergency RBs


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AUSTIN – When ninth-ranked Texas takes runs out onto the field Saturday, it’ll do so with three backup running backs who, just a few weeks ago – a few days in one case – were playing quarterback, linebacker and safety.

Freshman Roschon Johnson’s transition has already been discussed ad nauseum. (For good reason – he’s taken to the change with a graceful ease.)

But Mason Ramirez and David Gbenda? Those are household names to only the most diehard Longhorns fans.

Gbenda probably has more name recognition given his four-star rating and All-America status coming out of Katy Cinco Ranch. He was the nation’s No. 11 inside linebacker and Texas’ No. 24 in-state prospect, per the 247Sports composite.

“He’s picking it up,” sophomore tailback Keaontay Ingram said. “He’s coming in there, very new environment to him. His head was spinning at first, but I feel like he’s catching out pretty fast.”

Gbenda has spent as much time as possible learning up the basics and picking Ingram’s brain. The bulky 6-foot, 220-pound freshman does have some experience in the backfield after scoring five rushing touchdowns on 13 carries during his final high school season.

“There were some names that popped up,” coach Tom Herman said. “We felt (Gbenda) was a guy who could run. He played it before, some in high school. So he was willing to do it, felt good about it. He’s a guy that’s helping us, contributing to us on special teams. Defensively, they felt, hey, give him a look.

“David is still learning. He’s got a ways to go, but he has the ability to play there for sure.”

Ramirez is a Round Rock product who originally played at Kansas before joining Texas as a walk-on safety in 2018. He led Round Round's stout defense with 123 tackles and seven...

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    W/L
    9/12
    UTEP
    W 59-3
    9/26
    @Texas Tech
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    10/3
    TCU
    L 31-33
    10/10
    Oklahoma
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    10/24
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