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40 Acres Forecast: Johnathan Gray

We continue our look at every scholarship Longhorn with RB Johnathan Gray.

Johnathan Gray

Position: RB

Height/Weight: 5-foot-10, 211 pounds

High School: Aledo, Texas

Year: Senior

*****

2014 Review

Gray rushed 36 times fewer than Malcolm Brown but only gained 72 yards fewer than the current St. Louis Ram.

The then-junior rushed 147 times for 691 yards and a team-high seven touchdowns. He also had 20 receptions for 122 yards, which was the most of any Longhorns RB.

*****

2015 Preview

For the first time in his career Gray is the unquestioned No. 1 running back.

He missed Texas’ scrimmage two weekends ago but said on Monday that he’s feeling healthy and is ready for the season-opener at Notre Dame.

Gray is expected to be a workhorse but will get help from a young, but talented group of RBs led by sophomore D’Onta Foreman and freshman Chris Warren.

*****

HD Projection

Considering he is the unquestioned No. 1 RB for the first time in his career on the 40 Acres and should be running behind an improved offensive line, expectations are extremely high.

I don’t think it would surprise too many people if Gray was able to rush for at least 1,000 yards this season. He was well on his way two seasons ago before he ruptured his Achilles; at the time he rushed for 780 yards and only played in nine games.

Gray has a lot of miles on those legs but he’ll have some help from some younger RBs, which Tommie Robinson won’t be afraid to play. But Gray is the unquestioned bell cow and a leader on this team. This is the season he’s been waiting on.

*****

How he ended up on the 40 Acres

The Longhorns were thought to have the inside track for Gray’s commitment even though TCU and Texas A&M made the decision tough.

Eventually, a trip to UT’s spring game won him over and he committed on his 18th birthday.

Major Applewhite played a crucial roll in getting Gray to Austin.

*****

High School Highlights

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Coached by Tim Buchanan at Aledo ... an All-American, three time first-team all-state, all-area and four-time all-district performer at running back … earned first-team All-America honors… named Mr. Football USA by ESPNHS as a senior, becoming the first player to win the award twice … named the 2011-12 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year … also named the Gatorade Texas Football player of the Year … named the 2011 U.S. Air Force National Player of the Year … Sporting News High School Athlete of the Year runner-up … holds the all-time national record for TDs (205) and is tied for first in 100-yard games in a season (16) … also ranks second all-time in points (1,232), career 100-yard games (51) and single-season TDs (70) while ranking third in all-time rushing yards (10,908), fourth in career carries (1,205) and fifth in points in a season (420) … four-year starter who rushed for 10,889 yards and 189 TDs while catching 73 passes for 1,244 yards and 16 TDs, helping Aledo post a 56-4 record and win three consecutive state titles in four seasons … member of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Elite 11… won the Landry Award, honoring the top high school football player in the Dallas/Fort Worth area … named the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Super Team Offensive Player of the Year … named the Class 4A Offensive Player of the Year and first-team All-State by the TSWA and AP … helped lead Aledo to a 14-2 record and a state title … rushed for 3,888 yards (11.3 YPC) and 65 TDs while catching 26 passes for 517 yards and five TDs … named Mr. Football USA by ESPNHS as a junior, becoming the first junior to win the award … a first-team MaxPreps U.S. Air Force All-American … named the MaxPreps National Junior of the Year … a first-team ESPN RISE All-American … named the Gatorade Texas Football Player of the Year … won the inaugural Landry Award … named Class 4A Player of the Year by DCTF … named the Forth Worth Star-Telegram’s Super Team Offensive Player of the Year … named the Class 4A Offensive Player of the Year by the TSWA … named AP first-team All-State … helped lead Aledo to a 16-0 record and a state title … rushed for 3,221 yards and 59 TDs while catching 15 passes for 233 yards and two TDs … named the ESPN RISE Sophomore Player of the Year … named the MaxPreps National Sophomore of the Year … named the Class 4A Player of the Year by DCTF … first-team Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Super Team … named Class 4A co-Offensive Player of the Year by the TSWA … named AP first-team All-State … helped lead Aledo to a 15-1 record and a state title … rushed for 2,813 yards and 50 TDs while catching 30 passes for 479 yards and nine TDs … helped lead Aledo to a 11-1 record as a freshman … rushed for 969 yards and 15 TDs … placed fourth in the 100m (10.90) at the state meet as a junior … a three-time academic all-district selection… Began playing football at age 8 … father, James, was an All-America running back at Texas Tech (1986-89) and was drafted by the New England Patriots … info from this last section gathered from TexasSports.com]


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