With 19 days left until KICKOFF, 'The Forty' is back in business and going to run down the top 19 questions for the upcoming year.
19: Will Jamaal Charles Step Up, Come Back and Have a Big Year?
Well, the answer is, it depends. We all know Charles CAN have a breakout year and live up to his potential, but it is going to take a little help from his friends. By that, I mean his new offensive line (will be discussed in the near future). A revamped O-line may be the main question headed into this year, and JC will be directly affected by its consequences.
One thing that will definitely help Charles is going to be the highly effective passing game. Every defense will be shaking thinking about facing Colt and his receiving corps. Jamaal may just parlay that extra attention into some big runs (the ones that were missing last year). Jamaal was the leading rusher for the Horns last year, but only racked up only 831 yards. This marked the first time since the Ricky Williams' Sophomore year (1996) that Texas has not had a 1,000 yard rusher.
One thing that is for sure is that Charles has put in his time preparing for the football season. He opted to not participate in track activities to focus solely on football. He is bigger and more ready for the football season. While Jamaal will no longer have to split time with Selvin Young, Texas does have Chris Ogbonnaya and redshirt freshman Vondrell McGee looking to get some carries behind JC. However, despite the lingering worries, I look for Charles to rush for 1,200 yards, 10 TDs and raise his yards per carry to around 6.5 (5.3 in 2006).