It’s been a rough season for the Texas Longhorns, who are closing on on their third straight disappointing season. From a blowout loss to arch-rival Oklahoma Sooners in October, to their Thanksgiving Day loss to the TCU Horned Frogs, to rumors of possible coaching changes at the season’s end, the team can little afford more bad news. However, if you believe the rumors that are beginning to surface on the 40 Acres, they could be getting just that in a few weeks.
Let me begin by saying these are simply rumors begun on message boards, and let’s be honest: about 90% of what you read on a message board is probably not true (Ok. I completely made up that stat, but my point remains.). Nevertheless, if you go back and look at the way the season has played out, there very well could be some truth to the latest rumors.
So what are they?
Some folks are claiming that Texas running back Malcolm Brown, unhappy with his lack of touches, could be looking to transfer.
Sure, the Longhorns are absolutely stacked at this position with sophomore Joe Bergeron and freshman Jonathan Gray taking turns shouldering the load, not to mention the explosive freshman Daje Johnson, but it would hurt to lose a talent such as Brown. In fact, many still believe that Brown is the most talented running back on the roster, though it’s certainly debatable with the emergence of Gray this season.
Whichever side you are on, there is no doubt that Brown has amazing talent.
Earlier in the season, the sophomore was named the starting running back for the team, and it didn’t take fans long to see why. However, soon after, he was injured in a win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys and sidelined for the next several games. Seeing as how the same thing happened last season, with Brown missing much of the season with an ankle injury, many began to wonder if Brown would ever live up to his 5-star talent.
Brown was eventually cleared to play, but for whatever reason, he didn’t. He watched from the sidelines, ready to go, but only received the ball in garbage time vs. the Iowa State Cyclones and not at all in the loss to TCU.
One has to wonder why. Is he not completely 100? Is he in the doghouse for whatever reason? Do the coaches not trust that he can play without getting injured again? Is it just because the coaching staff believes the other running backs are better?
While we’ve all probably learned not to believe what we read on message boards, anyone who has watched the way things have played out since Brown’s return has to at least wonder if there could be some truth to the transfer rumors after all.
Earlier this week, however, the coaches did state that they would like to see Brown get more carries as the Longhorns take on the Kansas State Wildcats this weekend. Offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin commented on the situation:
Guys get dinged and other guys step up,” Harsin said. “Jonathan (Gray) stepped up. Joe (Bergeron) stepped up. We used Daje (Johnson) in there. And so your game plan, as the season goes on, just starts to form itself with those guys in it. And now all of a sudden, when one of your players comes back (from injury), you’ve got to get them back in the mix.
Perhaps that’s all there is to it and the rumors are premature. We will find out soon enough. Whatever the truth may be, the Longhorns must find a way to hang onto him. One can never have enough running backs, particularly when one of them is as talented as Malcolm Brown.