For Kyle Porter, its goodbye, Katy. Hello, Texas.
WHAT’S PORTER STEPPING INTO?
Running back isn’t one of Texas’ top position concerns. Johnathan Gray is moving on, but two key backs from 2015 — junior-to-be D’Onta Foreman (681/5) and sophomore Chris Warren III (470/4) — will return. There’s not a senior RB on the roster. Galena Park North Shore’s Tristian Houston redshirted in 2015.
RECENT HISTORY: RUNNING BACKS
Texas’ top rushers
The Longhorns’ leading rushers and freshmen rushers the past three years:
2015: D’Onta Foreman, 95-681-5; freshman — Chris Warren III, 71-470-4
2014: Malcolm Brown, 183-608-6; freshman — Foreman, 15-73-0
2013: Malcolm Brown, 214-904-9; freshman — Jalen Overstreet, 20-102-2
Freshmen on the field
The Longhorns played 16 freshmen in 2015, which led the nation. That included two true freshmen in Chris Warren III and Kirk Johnson. Warren ended with a bang, rushing for 276 yards and 4 TDs against Texas Tech on Thanksgiving and a 106-yard day against Baylor in the season finale. His 276-yard game, which came in his first career start, was the sixth-best single-game performance ever for a Longhorn and broke Cedric Benson’s 14-year record for a single-game yards by a freshman.
RECENT SIGNINGS: RUNNING BACKS
The last 10 running backs signed by Texas. Numbers in parenthesis reflect that player’s star rating from 247Sports’ composite rankings:
2016: Kyle Porter, Katy (4). Averaged 1,634 yards and 25 TDs his final three years. Arrives at UT this summer.
2015: Chris Warren III, Rockwall (4). Started slow, but came on strong his freshman season, including a UT-record 276-yard night against Texas Tech on Thanksgiving.
2015: Kirk Johnson, San Jose (Calif.) Valley Christian (3). The younger brother of 2016 wide receiver signee Collin Johnson, Kirk had minimal impact as a freshman — 8 carries, 44 yards.
2015: Tristian Houston, Galena Park North Shore (3). He redshirted last fall.
2014: Duke Catalon, Aldine Eisenhower (4). Never saw the field. Catalon redshirted in 2014 and then transferred out in 2015. He transferred to Houston, where he sat out the 2015 season for NCAA transfer rules.
2014: D’Onta Foreman, Texas City (3). On signing day, it was perceived Texas was more interested in D’Onta’s brother, wide receiver Armanti Foreman. But he’s now a key part to Texas’ running back picture entering 2016; Foreman made minimal impact as a freshman, but ended up leading the Longhorns in rushing in 2015 — 95 carries for 681 yards and 5 TDs, including four 100-yard games.
2012: Johnathan Gray, Aledo (5). One of two five-stars signed in 2012 (Brenham DT Malcom Brown), Gray’s career had highs and lows. He finished as UT’s 12th all-time rusher (2,607 yards), but battled Achilles injuries that robbed him of much of the 2013 and 2015 seasons. Had the ninth-best freshman season in school history, coming off a stellar prep career that saw him rush for nearly 11,000 yards and win three state championships.
2011: Malcolm Brown, Cibolo Steele (5). Like Gray, Brown was one of two five-star recruits from the 2011 class (Daingerfield LB Steve Edmond). And like Gray, Brown — the No. 2 running back prospect in the country coming out of high school — finished as one of UT’s most productive backs. Brown ended his career ranked No. 9 on Texas’ career rushing list (2,678 yards), was the Big 12’s newcomer of the year his freshman year, and started 25 games. He’s now a Los Angeles Ram.
2011: Joe Bergeron, North Mesquite (3). We’re listing Bergeron among the running backs even though he was considered a fullback on signing day. He rushed for 1,392 yards and 25 touchdowns in his three seasons at Texas, but was among Charlie Strong’s first-year program purge in 2014 and ended up playing at Texas A&M-Commerce.
2010: Traylon Shead, Cayuga (4). Remember the “Cayuga Comet?” Shead finished his career at Class A Cayuga as the state’s all-time leader in touchdowns (141) and second in career rushing yards (10,291), but that prep success never translated over into success as a Longhorn. He redshirted in 2010, then went through 2011 without a single carry. He ended up transferring to Navarro College in 2012 and finished up at SMU.
Note: Daje Johnson (2012) and Jalen Overstreet (2012) were athletes who ended up playing some running back. Johnson finished his career primarily as a receiver and returner; Overstreet, a quarterback in high school, was moved to running back before leaving the program in 2014.
For our full profile on Kyle Porter as part of our Longhorns Class of 2016 series, click here.
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