The Norman Transcript

Sports

December 30, 2012

Johnson eager to show skills at bowl

(Continued)

NORMAN —

No ones knows that better than Johnson.

“I saw where he (Moore) is a first-round prospect,” Johnson said. “Any time you get to go up against somebody that’s really good, you know you have an opportunity.”

Friday’s game coupled with the next four months of workouts could very well be the time when Johnson gets to showcase what type of player he’s become.

Just two years ago, Johnson was a little-used defensive end that was struggling to get anywhere near the field. The only reason OU didn’t give up on him was the remarkable athletic ability he possesses. Teammates and OU’s coaches marvel at Johnson’s speed and agility on a daily basis.

“You have no idea,” Ikard said. “He’s a physical freak when it comes to athleticism at that size.”

OU coach Bob Stoops gave a preview of what NFL scouts will see in February at the Senior Bowl and the NFL combine.

“At 305, 310 pounds, he’ll run a 4.7. He can go,” Stoops said. “He’s going to test well. He’s got a lot of upside, definitely, he’s only going to keep getting better.”

That’s the remarkable part of Johnson’s career. OU has had many All-American offensive linemen. Most of them were playing the spot since grade school. Years of drills to maximize footwork and blocking angles came into play. Johnson has been playing the spot for two seasons. A strong argument can be that he finished his college doing it as well as any offensive lineman in college football. He’s a gem that can still be polished.

“It took us a little while to find the best spot for him but it’s really, I believe, paid off for him and it’s been great the last two years,” Stoops said. “Most indications are he has a chance to be in the first couple of rounds. Hopefully, that’ll be the case. He’s worked hard for it.”

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