Hills, Monroe know their role for Longhorns

It can be difficult for an upperclassmen to take a backseat to an underclassmen, or at least see their roles diminished because of a younger player.

But two seniors that aren’t showing any signs of that being an issue for the Longhorns are Jeremy Hills and D.J. Monroe.

“Jeremy Hills and D.J. Monroe are really impressing us with their roles as seniors,” coach Mack Brown said. “They are working really hard on kick teams. When we ask them to go in they are being very productive.”

Hills is a fourth string running back that has found his niche by being one of the team’s answer on third downs. He’s only carried the ball twice for 13 yards this season and has three receptions for 27 yards.

Monroe has been one of Texas’ better offensive performers so far even though he doesn’t get the ball all that much. He’s carried the ball eight times for 56 yards but has scored on three of them.

“I had D.J. and Jeremy stand up [after the Ole Miss game],” Brown said. “The freshmen always gripe. They think they should be playing more. I said ‘Here are two seniors that are really good players, that are on kick teams and handling their role. They are not griping at all.’ Freshmen always want to play and these two want to win. That’s always exciting.”

Brown acknowledges that he needs to get Monroe the ball more, but that he is limited sometimes because he is not a “wide receiver” like freshman Daje Johnson is capable of being.

“DJ is much better than he has ever been. He is more confident. He’s stronger. He’s all about football now,” Brown said. “He wants to win and that’s what seniors do. He’s never said one word. He just wants to help us win. We need to let DJ get back in there some. I think just about every time he’s touched it he’s scored.”