Texas football coach refers to Roschon Johnson as “alpha” leader for Longhorns

Published 12:36 am Sunday, July 17, 2022

Port Neches-Groves graduate Roschon Johnson received high praise from the Texas Longhorns head coach during the Big 12 media day this week.

When discussing the leadership on the Longhorns, Head Coach Steve Sarkisian held nothing back when talking about his admiration for the second string running back.

“Roschon Johnson is an alpha,” the coach said. “That is just his personality, and it’s not in a way that is negative. It is very positive. It is very uplifting, but it is demanding.”

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The former PNG quarterback joined the Longhorns in 2019. After injuries left Texas thin at the running back position, Johnson offered to help carry the load.

PNG fans, teachers and coaches often glowed when talking about how Johnson carried himself on and off the field. Now, it seems the Longhorns are benefiting from his leadership, as the second-year coach tries to implement a culture change.

Johnson was one of five players to travel to represent the team for the media day. While Sarkisian talked about how much of a natural leader the running back is, Johnson said he has made a conscious effort to be more vocal.

“I feel like I have embraced that role,” Johnson said. “Ever since the end of the last game last season, I knew the expectations we needed in order to progress. If that is the title everyone thinks, then I am happy with that.”

Johnson finished the season as the starting running back for the Longhorns when Bijan Robinson went down with an injury. Robinson was projected to be a Heisman finalist prior to the injury and is currently projected to be a first round pick if he decides to enter the NFL Draft next year.

In Robinson’s absence, Johnson carried the ball 46 times for 256 yards and two touchdowns over two games.

During the offseason, Johnson elected to not transfer and potentially start at another program. He come back to a team where he would definitely be the backup. He said the decision was not difficult. Johnson said he and Robinson are driven by competition.

“We are both hard workers,” Johnson said. “We do a great job of competing against each other, whether it be in drills or certain plays. We compete every single play and that is how we bounce off of each other.”

Sarkisian believes Johnson will be successful in life because of his willingness to put the team first.

“He graduated from the McCombs School of Business. He has a bright future ahead of him,” the coach said. “We are extremely fortunate to have him on our team. I think his leadership style has started to permeate through our other leaders on our team.”