The Norman Transcript

National Sports

September 3, 2013

Speedy Johnson a big playmaker for Texas

AUSTIN, Texas — As a fast guy, perhaps one of the fastest players in the Big 12 if not the entire country, Texas’ Daje Johnson was asked Monday to recall if he had ever been run down from behind.

Johnson paused for several moments, rolled his eyes while he pondered it, and dug deep into his memory to find an answer: Yes, once. As a high school freshman, an opponent made a desperate tackle by slapping at his heels.

That’s about it.

“It’s just something you have,” Johnson said of his speed. “Since little league football, I was just outrunning everybody.”

Johnson’s combination of speed and power in his 5-foot-10, 180-pound frame has No. 15 Texas (1-0) promising big things from the sophomore this season and he’s already drawing comparisons to some of the top all-around Longhorns athletes of the last 25 years, such as Eric Metcalf.

“I think,” Texas coach Mack Brown said, “he can be really good.”

Johnson burned New Mexico State with touchdowns of 66 yards and 24 yards, sparking an offense that sputtered for most of the first half in what ended as a 56-7 rout.

Johnson’s first TD came on a pass from David Ash that gave Texas a 14-7 halftime lead. The second came on a run out of the backfield for the Longhorns’ next score early in the third quarter.

He’s also slated as one of the Longhorns top choices as a punt returner. That’s a lot of ball skills for a player who first committed to TCU as a defensive back until Texas assistant Major Applewhite lured him to the Longhorns with all the ways Johnson could score touchdowns.

Applewhite saw in Johnson a rare combination of shifty moves, break-away speed, power running and good receiving skills didn’t want them sitting idle on defense.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Drivers visit Indiana National Guard before race at Brickyard

    EDINBURGH, Ind. — Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Graham Rahal are used to occasional fireworks when drivers get upset at the track....

    July 25, 2014

  • Nibali wins Stage 18, builds overall lead

    ARGELES-GAZOST, France — As his team hoped, Vincenzo Nibali demonstrated he’s the “boss” of the Tour de France. Just don’t compare him to the last rider to regularly bear that sobriquet at cycling’s greatest race, Lance Armstrong....

    July 25, 2014

  • Sooners use momentum from Sugar Bowl in preparation for 2015 season

    The Associated Press NORMAN, Okla. — Oklahoma got a lot of attention with its upset victory over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl....

    July 25, 2014

  • Yankees edge Texas for sixth victory in seven games

    NEW YORK — Brandon McCarthy and Chase Headley are quickly putting their stamp on a playoff surge for the New York Yankees....

    July 25, 2014

  • Smoke turns corner at Indy

    INDIANAPOLIS — Drivers always say there’s something magical about Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the opportunity for NASCAR to race there opened the door for one of Jeff Gordon’s most treasured victories. It was a race Tony Stewart ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Former great addressed during annual shareholders meeting in G.B.

    GREEN BAY, Wis. — Flush with cash, the Packers have a 112,000 name-long waiting list for season tickets filled with die-hards eager to see a team that figures to be an NFC contender for years to come....

    July 24, 2014

  • Roma tops Liverpool

    BOSTON — Marco Borriello scored in the 90th minute to give Roma a 1-0 victory over Liverpool in a preseason friendly Wednesday night at Fenway Park. There were limited chances until Borriello volleyed in a corner from in front of goal....

    July 24, 2014

  • Marcus Mariota helps Oregon’s PAC-12 title chance in preseason polls

    LOS ANGELES — Although Marcus Mariota knew he would be under a spotlight when he stepped onto the famed Paramount Studios lot Wednesday, the Oregon quarterback is getting quite comfortable in his starring role....

    July 24, 2014

  • Potential buyer group scouts Toronto area

    BUFFALO, N.Y. — A Buffalo Bills prospective ownership group that includes rocker Jon Bon Jovi has conducted a feasibility study into buying the NFL franchise and building a stadium in Toronto, a person close to the situation said....

    July 24, 2014

  • Majka wins 16th stage, Nibali leads

    PLA D’ADET, France — On the last of four Pyrenees ascents, Rafal Majka winked at a French TV camera and tugged playfully at a motorcycle’s antenna....

    July 24, 2014