Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Early season star: Jonathon Brooks

Connor Steen
Running back Jonathon Brooks stiff arms Wyoming defender on September 16th, 2023.

Texas’s third-year running back Jonathon Brooks has had an early explosion in the first five games of the season. Coming off a stellar performance against No. 24 Kansas totaling a combined 285 yards and two touchdowns, Brooks is settling in as the featured running back for the Longhorns. 

Brooks has amassed nearly 600 yards rushing and five touchdowns in the first five games of the season, combined with another 87 yards receiving and another touchdown.

As a true freshman, Brooks only totaled 143 rushing yards with a single touchdown. During his second season as a redshirt freshman, he gained 197 rushing yards and six total touchdowns — five on the ground and one through the air.

“He got great experience his first two years here, playing with Bijan and Roschon,” said head coach Steve Sarkisian at the Sept. 25 press conference. “The work ethic that they played with and the skillset … some of the little nuances that they do when they play.” 

Brooks has waited three years for his opportunity to be the main back for Sarkisian’s offense. Brooks was slated to start the season in tandem with five-star freshman CJ Baxter, who started the first game against Rice but has had injury issues. 

Brooks is no stranger to the injuries Baxter is facing, having undergone hernia surgery earlier this year. He stepped up and has flourished in the starting role, even receiving high praise from Sarkisian.

“Jonathon has definitely earned the opportunity to get a bulk of carries,” Sarkisian said. “He’s (playing) at a high level.”

Brooks has not only grown tremendously as a player but also as a leader. 

“Jonathon was on our leadership committee because he does things the right way,” Sarkisian said. “He is a worker and a reliable young man.”

Brooks had a very modest response when talking about his and the team’s success. 

“(I’m) just thanking my O-lineman,” Brooks said. “I’m not necessarily carrying the load because there’s other people touching the ball.” 

Brooks has grown and improved on the field and in the locker room. There’s no shock to his high-level production in the first five games.

Already surpassing his rushing yards this year compared to his first two years combined and equalizing his touchdown total from last year in the first five games of the season, Brooks will look to place a stamp on his third year with the Longhorns.

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