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Texas Longhorns Spring Depth Chart Preview: Who's Behind Bijan?

Texas returning mostly same backfield in 2022 with possible notable addition

The Longhorns running game under coach Steve Sarkisian this past season was one of the lone bright spots in what was an overall mediocre offense. Bijan Robinson started the year as a strong candidate for the Heisman, but the team's lack of success torpedoed his chances. 

Still, Texas retains a solid group of backs headed into 2022, with at least one new freshman addition. 

Under new running backs coach Tashard Choice, the Longhorns will look to build on the team average of 199.3 rushing yards per game, which was second in the conference behind only Big 12 champion Baylor.

So, what will the backfield look like in year two under Sarkisian? More of the same? 

We've already reviewed the potential depth chart for the quarterbacks. Now, stick with as we break down the rest of the Longhorns' spring football depth chart. 

RB1: Bijan Robinson - Junior 

Who would've guessed? 

If there's one thing we can be certain about for Texas football in 2022, it's that Robinson will be the centerpiece of the offense. 

The star-studded back was a workhorse for Sark this past season. Despite missing the final two games due to an elbow injury suffered in the loss to Kansas, Robinson accounted for 1,127 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on 195 carries. 

Robinson's receiving numbers out of the backfield mirrored that of a No. 2 receiver for Texas, as he was tied for second on the team in catches (26), second in receiving scores (four) and was third in receiving yards (295). 

No need to speculate here. Robinson will be a force to be reckoned with during his junior season. 

RB2: Roschon Johnson - Senior

Johnson was a trusted No. 2 back behind Robinson throughout last season, and stepped up well in the lead role during the final two games, including 31 carries for 179 yards and a touchdown against Kansas State. 

Johnson is a powerful runner that welcomes contact and has shown deceptive speed, like he did on a 72-yard touchdown run against Rice. 

Much like Robinson, he almost never goes down on first contact, and should continue to be one of the better backup options in the conference. 

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RB3: Keilan Robinson - Junior

Robinson was a bit of an unknown headed into 2021, but quickly earned recognition from Longhorn fans with some flashy plays to begin the season. Against Rice, the speedster blocked a punt on special teams and added a 65-yard touchdown run later in the game.

As a transfer from Alabama, it's understandable why fans expected more usage during the later parts of the season, but the touches just weren't there. Before missing the game against Kansas due to health and safety protocols, Robinson accounted for just nine total touches for 58 yards in the five games prior. 

With Bijan Robinson injured, the D.C native had his first career 100-yard rushing game against West Virginia. The potential and skill set as an electric runner is clearly there, but we'll just have to wait and see how Sarkisian utilizes him in the upcoming season. 

As a former receiver, maybe he'll see more action from the slot.

RB4: Jaydon Blue - Freshman

It's a tossup between Blue or Jonathon Brooks for the fourth running back spot, but I give Blue the edge here due to the versatility he brings as a runner. 

He's a smooth and balanced back that can make effortless cuts off one foot in the open field. He was arguably the top running back available in the state of Texas for the class of 2022.

As the fourth overall running back in Sports Illustrated's 2022 rankings, Blue clearly has an elite skill set, but is still a question mark entering his first year on the Forty Acres. He sat out his senior season to prepare for the collegiate level, which could raise concerns about his ability to get back in game shape for spring ball.

Blue would have to seriously impress the coaching staff to take over the No. 3 role from Robinson. It's likely he remains on the sidelines for a majority of the season barring injury or a blowout scenario. 

RB5: Jonathon Brooks - Sophomore

Brooks was solid in limited playing time this past season. He was the fourth Texas running back to score in the 58-0 thrashing of Rice, but saw just 13 touches the rest of the year. 

He averaged an impressive 6.8 yards per carry in three games of action. For perspective purposes, TCU's Kendre Miller was first in the conference at 7.5 yards per carry. 

Much like Blue, Brooks would have to wow the coaching staff in spring and summer practice to earn his way up the depth chart. He'll remain a solid option for depth in the meantime. 

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