Tom Herman confirmed in a press conference on Monday that running back Jordan Whittington will miss around six weeks while he recovers from a sports hernia.
Whittington, a highly-touted freshman, has been dealing with the nagging sports hernia throughout fall camp. However, he was expected to receive a decent share of the work load as it hadn’t slowed him down in practice and Texas manages several injuries at the position.
Whittington’s injury is a significant blow to a position group that was already very thin.
Senior running back Kirk Johnson was expected to provide depth at the position, but will miss several weeks with a shoulder injury. Daniel Young was expected to be the primary backup to Kaeontay Ingram, but he suffered a high ankle sprain as the Horns wrapped up fall camp. He isn’t expected back any time soon. Even walk-on running back Jarrett Smith is out with an undisclosed injury.
Unfortunately, the Horns are left with just one scholarship running back ready to go against LSU on Saturday. Ingram showed that he’s capable of carrying the majority of the work load, but even he is banged up a bit as he’s coming off a knee injury.
With options growing thin, Texas is left with no choice but to move some guys around.
Freshman quarterback Roschon Johnson has been working with the running backs coaches over the last couple of weeks, and he helped fill in against Louisiana Tech.
With Whittington now missing time, the coaches have made another move. Freshman David Gbenda (pronounced “Benda”) was recruited as a linebacker, but he has now been moved to running back. He played offense in high school, and his former coach is not surprised by the move.
“Don’t be surprised if he surprises some people. When you think of him, he’s very sudden. He’s sudden, explosive. He’s obsessed with the details, and he’s fanatical about learning it all.”– Gbenda’s high school linebackers coach Chris Dudley told the Austin American-Statesman.
Those that much depth as any position is brutal. Especially with a high-profile matchup on the horizon. Here is hoping there are no more injuries at the position, because Texas might have to resort to pulling people out of the stands if this keeps up.