The college football season is in the past and the baseball season is in full swing but residents of Aledo can still look at the University of Texas’ season with pride because of a hometown player.After helping Aledo High School win three consecutive state championships, running back Johnathan Gray committed to play for the Longhorns starting last fall.It did not take long before he took to the field, even as a freshman."[Assistant Coach Major Applewhite] told me I wasn’t going to get too many snaps," Gray said. "But I prepared my mind just to go in at any time because you never know."Gray ended up playing in each of the 13 games this past season, first as a reserve running back and then starting five of the last six games."He probably got involved faster than any other freshman we've had at that position," Longhorns’ Head Coach Mack Brown said of Gray’s quick transition into the team.By the end of his debut against Wyoming, Gray had 9 yards with five carries."I felt great and I felt nervous," Gray said of his first time to play – a fourth down and a yard to go situation. "Getting to go in and getting that first carry was kind of [nerve-wracking]."From that first game, Gray’s playing time began to increase and the results improved."He competes as hard as anybody I've ever seen on the football field," Brown said. "And he's very positive. He is a guy that has that passion and burning desire to win."The Longhorns’ and Gray’s season ended on a high note on Dec. 29 when they took on Oregon State in the Valero Alamo Bowl.After trailing by 10 points in the fourth quarter, Gray took part in the start of a comeback with a 15-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter so Texas only trailed 27-24.Texas (9-4) went on to win the game, 31-27."Coming back from being down and catching a touchdown pass felt great," Gray said of his first bowl game. "I was excited, and I was glad we ended the season with a win."Gray said moving from the high school to the college arena included challenges – and not just on the football field."The guys are bigger, school is harder and it is a lot more time management," Gray said. "It's just part of growing up and getting better as a man and as a person."Gray finished the season leading the team with 701 rushing yards, ranking ninth for a single-season freshman at UT and 11th in the Big 12. He had two games where he rushed for more than 100 yards and averaged 53.9 per game, the highest average for freshman running backs in the Big 12.Gray said he had no single favorite part of his first season and admitted he enjoyed all of it – “traveling with the team, the wins and even the losses.”"During this season, we had some ups and downs," he said. "But it was fun all along the way."Gray now looks ahead to finishing his first academic year at Texas and starting his second season with the old and new members to the team."I think there are so many great days ahead for Johnathan because he wants to be a great player," Brown said. "He's very unselfish. It's not about him, it's about our team."He's the type of guy who can help lead you to win it all again."