Changing mentality, changing positions — Texas football is adapting during Sarkisian’s first spring

Local Sports

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas begins its third week of spring practice, and players continue to adjust to the many changes taking place thanks to a predominantly new coaching staff.

Two players who have dealt with plenty of change in their careers are defensive back Josh Thompson and running back Roschon Johnson.

Thompson has bounced around the secondary, playing multiple positions in his time at Texas. During the spring, he has been playing cornerback and, according to him, it hasn’t been much of an adjustment.

“It’s really nothing I haven’t seen, I’ve been here for five years but everything has been going smooth,” Thompson said. “Just learning everything technique-wise that each coach wants but everything has been really good, I kind of know everything like the back of my hand.”

Also unfazed by a position change has been Roschon Johnson, who switched from quarterback to running back in 2019. Of course, Johnson will continue to play running back this year after two solid seasons at the position.

He says that he’s gotten used to being a running back, adding that he’s maintained the attitude that if it’s what the team needs, he’s all for it.

“Anybody asks me, I say that I’m a football player,” said Johnson. “I feel like I really could do anything that anybody asks of me, but at the same time, I’m still learning the position, I’m still learning a lot of things. I’m trying to adjust to a lot of things.”

Johnson was a longtime quarterback, and in his view, it’s not an easy mentality to leave behind.

“Going from your whole life playing quarterback, then switching, it’s going to take a few years to get adjusted. At the same time, I’m gradually learning every single year,” Johnson said.

One thing that did not change is Johnson’s running backs coach Stan Drayton’s presence at Texas. Steve Sarkisian retained him in that role, and it’s helped Johnson’s continued growth at the running back position.

“I feel like he’s helped me on and off the field,” Johnson added. “I feel like it’s a credit to him that I’m in the position I’m at today, and at the end of the day, I’ll give all thanks and credit to that man. He’s done a lot for me and he’ll be a lifelong friend.”

Adjustment will continue to be a theme throughout the spring and the fall, as Sarkisian continues to install his system and get every player, coach, and staff member up to speed.

Texas will have the annual Orange-White game on April 24 with fans allowed to attend. The game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

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