Roschon Johnson’s transition from quarterback to running back was one born out of necessity, as a bevy of injuries prompted the position change only days before the 2019 campaign kicked off. Now, it would be difficult to imagine the future of the Texas Longhorns’ running back room without him.
To say Johnson took to the change like a fish to water would be a bit of an understatement, as evident by his success complementing Keaontay Ingram. After all, much of the reason Johnson arrived in Austin as one of the nation’s most highly-regarded dual-threat quarterbacks was his ability to prove equally as impactful with his legs — throughout three varsity seasons at Port Neches-Groves, Johnson amassed 4,810 rushing yards and 85 scores.
That said, the cause for concern that lingered when injuries forced a true freshman quarterback to transition to running back, regardless of his rushing prowess in high school, was warranted — it was quite simply a less than ideal situation.
But as Johnson began to receive more carries, it quickly became clear that his future was likely at running back, a realization that has since become reality.
Throughout his first three games at the position, Johnson increased his yards per carry average from 3.7 to 4.6 to 5.4, a stretch capped by a 59-yard showing on 11 carries against Rice. After Ingram’s career display the following week against Oklahoma State limited Johnson to only 30 yards, he exploded two weeks later, turning 21 attempts into 121 yards after an early neck stinger sidelined Ingram for the rest of the game. Seven short days later, with Ingram still limited, a 57-yard run headlined Johnson’s eight-carry, 95-yard afternoon against Oklahoma.