Tuesday, September 20
It turns out I’m not the only one going ga-ga over freshman running back Jamaal Charles. Here’s a snapshot from around the state from players, coaches and sportswriters who love the speedy tailback.
Richard Justice, Houston Chronicle: "Charles has the speed of a sprinter and the size (6-1, 190) of a classically constructed running back. More than that, he has the ability to change speeds, cut back against pursuit and make guys miss. As anyone who saw him in high school would know, he's just different.
"Yes, the Rice game was was little more than a full-uniform practice for the Longhorns. But Charles' skills translate. His ability to see open holes, his ability to change directions and his pure speed were what made this game impressive…"
"Because of him, Texas looks better today than it did a week ago. Because of him, those defensive coordinators who spent months coming up with ways to stop Vince Young now have someone else to occupy their time."
Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman: "Freshman Jamaal Charles will threaten a whole bunch of Cedric Benson's records before he leaves after the 2008 season. He's really, really, really good."
Jeff McDonald, San Antonio Express-News: "From hs first carry to his final exit - which came early in the third quarter - Charles' coming out party was one of the ages . . . Charles was so prolific - zigging and zagging and occassionally hurding through the Rice defense like the former prep track star he is - that he turned Heisman hopeful Vince Young into a bit player.
UT linebacker Aaron Harris: "He's not really a freshman. It's like he's been here for four years."
UT quarterback Vince Young: "Just to see him carrying the ball, I was so proud. For him to run up and down the field like that, for him to be making plays, I was so proud. Today, it was his turn."
Chip Brown, Dallas Morning News: "Three games make a trend. Charles, who has failed to turn the ball over this season, is averaging 116 yards per game and 8.8 yards per carry and hasn't missed a blitz pick-up."
Suzanne Halliburton, Austin American-Statesman: "The way Charles is playing - this is his second 100-yard rushing performance in three games - folks around Austin aren't missing (Cedric) Benson, a first round NFL draft pick, as much as first thought.
Jimmy Burch, Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "Without question, Charles' strong showing - bested only by Cedric Benson's 213 yards (vs. Kansas, 2001) on Texas' list of freshman rushing efforts - caught the attention of Longhorn players and coaches."
Greg Davis, offensive coordinator: "He's way ahead of schedule for a freshman. Football comes easy for him. He's special. He has a way of making his body smaller to get through some holes. He's more of a darter."
Joseph Duarte, Houston Chronicle: “Through three games, the Texas Longhorns know this much: The date on true freshman Jamaal Charles' birth certificate must be a lie."
Mack Brown, head coach: "Coach (Darrell) Royal said guys like him are quick as a puff of smoke."
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if Jamaal Charles isn’t the starting running back from here on out, Mack Brown should be drug tested. Or locked in an asylum. It’s a no-brainer, and not just because Selvin Young has been injured and ineffective. Charles is that good.
Charles came to Texas and said he would make Horns fans forget all about Adrian Peterson. At this point, many of us are confused. Adrian who?
Against Ohio State, Charles carried 10 times for 26 yards. He's no AD, not yet at least.
I am not saying Charles isn't good, but let's slow down before giving him Vince's spot at the Heisman ceremony.
All the writers are writing about Charles' game against Rice because, honestly, what else are they supposed to write about? A change on the kickoff team? Mack wore different socks? It's Rice. There have to be storylines every week, and that’s where the media comes in, and that’s why they’ll all fawning over him.
And predicting he’ll break Benson’s records after one game against Rice? Please. Why not just send him to Canton while we’re at it?
Seriously, is there a worse state in the union than Oklahoma? How depressing must it be to be from Oklahoma?
AP is a beast, but JC is amazing.
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