September 27, 2007

Johnson, Charles remain good friends

Texas running back Jamaal Charles doesn't back up anybody these days. Charles is the Big 12's leading rusher and widely considered as one of the nation's top backs. So, it's safe to assume that his starting job is firmly solidified. This was not always the case, however, as the Longhorns' star spent a year observing Kansas State's James Johnson from the sideline during his high school days.

"I really looked up to him," Charles said of Johnson. "I really liked watching him play and tried to do the same things he did. Some of the things I learned from James are the things that Iım doing now."

It's safe to say that Memorial High School in Port Arthur, Texas, didn't have much to worry about when it came to depth at the position, and the two running backs pushed each other during their time at the school. Yes, the duo made for quite a twosome during their time together at Texas' Memorial High School, but when it came time to choose the team's featured back, Johnson was the obvious choice.

"James Johnson was a complete back," said Butch Colbert who coached Johnson and Charles at the high school level. "He was a great runner with great vision. I can't remember a time when he put the ball on the ground. He was just the most complete back."

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