AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas football players often talk about how there is a family connection between fellow Longhorns. On Friday in Austin, that camaraderie was clear.
Former Texas Longhorns running back Jamaal Charles got the family back together for a football camp at the Boys and Girls Club in northeast Austin. A number of Texas greats served as coaches for the camp.
“It means a lot,” Charles said. “Just trying to motivate the kids, inspire the kids and give them hope. That’s why we’re here.”
Brian Orakpo, Michael Griffin, Quan Cosby and Michael Huff were among those former Longhorns working the camp as well. Also helping out was Derrick Johnson, a Texas Ex who was teammates with Charles for nine years in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs.
“It’s always about giving back, showing the next generation being successful is important,” Johnson said. “Today we’re supporting [Boys and Girls Club] and the youth through Jamaal Charles. He’s the glue bringing us NFL players together.”
Charles is one in the long line of great Longhorn running backs. Roschon Johnson and Bijan Robinson continue that legacy now as 2023 NFL Draft selections.
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“I’m so happy he got the opportunity to go to the league and show them what he has,” Charles said about Johnson. “And then Bijan, he did an amazing job breaking my records at the University of Texas. He’s got a bright future.”
With players like Johnson, Robinson and DeMarvion Overshown gone from the program, there will be some new players stepping up for Texas this fall. The former Longhorns KXAN spoke with seem very confident in the direction of the program.
“The biggest difference you see right now is you see the team is buying in,” former Texas safety Michael Griffin said. “I think they may have the best talent that I’ve seen in a long time at every position.”
Texas football is about three months away from kicking off its 2023 season against Rice on Sept. 2. The Longhorns will report for fall camp in early August.