Texas football: 5 most underrated players in Texas Longhorns history

Jordan Shipley, Texas Longhorns. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Jordan Shipley, Texas Longhorns. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /
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Jamaal Charles, Texas Longhorns
Jamaal Charles, Texas Longhorns. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /

Who are the five most underrated players in Texas football history?

Texas football will be back in a very big way one of these days.

As one of the preeminent programs in college football, the Texas Longhorns have won over 900 games, played in 56 bowl games, won 32 conference championships and claimed four national titles. Texas has produced 60 consensus All-Americans, as well as a pair of running backs who have taken home the Heisman Trophy to Austin in Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams.

One of the blue-bloods of college football, the Longhorns were at their peak in the 1960s and 1970s under legendary head coach Darrell K Royal. Decades later, Texas was a dominant program in the 2000s under former head coach Mack Brown. Since his resignation in December 2013, Texas has struggled to find itself since losing the BCS National Championship back in 2009.

With Tom Herman entering his fourth season as the head football coach, there is reason to believe he will be the one to finally bring Texas back after a decade or so out of the national spotlight. Though the Longhorns did beat the Georgia Bulldogs in the Allstate Sugar Bowl two years, being back means winning the Big 12 Championship and making the College Football Playoff.

For Texas to be officially back for real this time, Herman and his staff will need to continue in recruitment, as well as have several underrecruited guys step up for them big time. We’re talking about the underrated guy necessary to do the little things right to contend for a championship year in and year out. Who are some of these unsung heroes in Texas football anyway?

Here are the five most underrated players in the history of Texas football.

RB. 851. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. (2005-07). Jamaal Charles. 5. player

Before Jamaal Charles put together a borderline Pro Football Hall of Famer career as a running back primarily with the Kansas City Chiefs, he was a star tailback in Austin for the Longhorns. Charles overcame a learning disability as a youth to become one of the most impactful running backs of his generation. His three years in Austin were incredible.

As a freshman in 2005, Charles rushed for 878 yards on 119 carries for 11 touchdowns. He was named Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year, Second-Team All-Big 12 and helping Texas win its first national championship in decades. Despite more carries in 2006, Charles saw his productivity slip as a sophomore a tad to 831 rushing yards on 156 carries for seven touchdowns.

Then as a junior in 2007, Charles really made a name for himself at Texas. He had 258 carries for 1,619 yards and 18 touchdowns. Charles was named First-Team All-Big 12 that year, as he finished his college career with 533 carries for 3,328 yards and 36 touchdowns in 38 games. Had he stayed for his senior season, maybe he would have been the third Heisman winner for Texas?

Charles ultimately made the right decision, as he was a third-round pick by the Chiefs in the 2008 NFL Draft. He spent nine of his 11 professional seasons in Kansas City, as he made four trips to the Pro Bowl, made three All-Pro teams and led the NFL in rushing touchdowns in 2013. Charles retired in 2019 with 7,563 career rushing yards and 44 career rushing touchdowns in the NFL.