Finally a focal point, Horns running back Gray focused on leadership
Johnathan Gray is finally a focal point of the Texas Longhorns offense. Now a senior, he's also focused on another area this team, and the offensive unit to be sure, desperately needs -- leadership.
"Right now, my mindset is being more of a vocal leader for the team, and not just for myself or my running back room, but for everybody in the locker room," Gray said during a sit-down interview with the Longhorn Network. "Right now, that's a big key for me and that's what me and the coaches talked about earlier this week and that's what I'm prepared to take on. Hopefully I can get my teammates on my back and on board and get this thing rolling."
Watch Gray's visit with LHN below:
For the first time in Gray's career, often stunted by injury, he will be the featured back and not part of a tandem backfield, including last season when he stared duties with Malcolm Brown.
Gray will likely get plenty of touches as the Longhorns transition to a more up-tempo, spread offense that the players seem to be taking to with enthusiasm.
"We're still kinda going through things, but it's a spread offense now," Gray said on LHN. "We were an I-formation team, but now we've moved back to the spread, so it's going great right now. Guys are running it and enjoying it. I think it gets more of the athletes in space and makes them have more one-on-ones to win their battles. For me, I love the offense, I've been involved in both, love both, so the sky's the limit for what we can do with the guys we have on this team and what the offense is about."
Perhaps most important, Gray is stepping into a larger role as one of the most experienced players on offense. Nearly every other position will feature players with little or no experience.
Gray is also now as healthy as he has been in some time, having fully recovered from an Achilles injury. He has said that he didn't feel at full strength last season until the West Virginia game in early November.
(h/t SB Nation)
Photo Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports