Texas running back Roschon Johnson arrived in Austin as a quarterback and left as one of the top ball-carriers selected in the 2023 NFL draft. Johnson was picked in the fourth round of the draft on Saturday with the 115th overall pick by the Chicago Bears.
A native of Port Neches, Texas and a graduate of Port Neches-Groves, Johnson was a member of the Longhorns’ 2019 recruiting class. He signed as a quarterback and enrolled early, but a slew of injuries at the running back position ahead of the 2019 season spurred a move from QB to RB.
Johnson made the most of early opportunities. During the 2019 campaign, he rushed for 649 yards on 123 carries, adding seven touchdowns. He also caught 23 passes for 158 yards and a score.
He remained at running back for 2020 in spite of his own preferences to return to quarterback. In 10 games, he rushed 80 times for 418 yards and six scores.
In 2021, Johnson became one of the most beloved Longhorns on the team for his vocal leadership and his end-of-season performance. Against Kansas State, Johnson helped the Longhorns avoid a 4-8 record with a 31-carry, 179-yard day versus the Wildcats. He parlayed that performance into status as the team’s “alpha” according to Steve Sarkisian.
Even while acting as the 1B to Bijan Robinson’s 1A, Johnson was extremely effective in 2022. He tallied 93 carries for 554 yards and five touchdowns, plus 14 receptions for 128 yards and a score. In addition to his standard down work, Johnson was a key figure on Texas’ special teams units. He tallied eight tackles over the course of 2022 in addition to two returns for 39 yards.
Johnson attended the Reese’s Senior Bowl, suffering an injury during the first day of practices. However, he battled through the hand ailment to complete the first day of drills and further entrench himself as a player of extremely high football character.
He put together an excellent NFL combine, running a 4.58 40-yard-dash at 225 pounds. Johnson, like Robinson, leaves Texas as a beloved team leader and player. He is the third Longhorn to be picked in the draft joining Robinson and DeMarvion Overshown.
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