Roschon Johnson was a quarterback. At his high school in Port Neches, Texas, he set the school record with a career 7,710 passing yards and added 4,900 rushing yards. He committed to Texas and was moved to running back during his freshman season when team injuries caused a need for his rushing skills. He completed only one pass as a Longhorn, but served as a rushing and receiving option in the backfield for all four years.
Johnson split carries with Keaontay Ingram during that first year and remained second-best while playing alongside Bijan Robinson. The duo split carries with Robinson (86-703-4) slightly busier than Johnson (80-418-6) during the COVID-shortened 2020 season. Robinson took a far bigger chunk for the last two years.
Johnson maintained the same sort of pace for all three seasons, typically rushing five to eight times in most matchups. When Robinson did not play in the 2021 season finale against Kansas State, Johnson rushed for 179 yards on 31 carries.
Weight: 219 pounds
40 time: 4.58 seconds
He ended with five 100-yard efforts over his 47 games for the Longhorns, but never more than one per year once Robinson showed up to dominate the workload. Johnson took advantage of his four years in Austin, graduating with a business management degree.
Table: Player NCAA stats (2019-22)
- Good-sized power back that break tackles
- Aggressive, decisive rusher that picks the right lanes
- Tough and dependable
- Great ball security – one fumble in four years
- Quick feet for a big back
- Solid pass protection and willing lead blocker
- Special teams contributor
- Not many miles on the odometer
- Smart player that can learn quickly
- Slower than most NFL backs
- Lacks creativity
- Minor receiving experience
- Lacks elite burst
Johnson is the “other guy” in the Texas backfield that was overshadowed by Bijan Robinson for the last three years, but offers plenty of skills and intangibles that will net him a role in the NFL. He’s been a selfless, coachable player that is a great team fit and it can be argued that his ceiling is unknown given the success of Robinson. He could have potentially helped his stock by transferring to a different team where he may have become their primary back.
Johnson is a big back that may lack some of the quickness to reach the corner and turn up the field. But he’s a solid addition to a backfield for short yardage, pass blocking, special teams, and inside runs.
He’ll be a Day 3 pick to a team looking to restock their backfield with solid contributors. As a very versatile utility player, he has much to offer any team. His fantasy value as a rookie is more likely to be minimal unless injuries open up opportunities, but Johnson holds future promise. He’s most likely to end up a part of a committee that can grow into fantasy-relevant production.