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Oklahoma State football: Lyndell Johnson will have to be Cowboys' 'X-factor' from new position

BY ANTHONY SLATER, Staff Writer, aslater@opubco.com Published: April 8, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma State's Lyndell Johnson (27) tackles West Virginia's Geno Smith (12) as he scrambles during a college football game between Oklahoma State University (OSU) and the West Virginia University at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. OSU won 55-34. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman  SARAH PHIPPS
Oklahoma State's Lyndell Johnson (27) tackles West Virginia's Geno Smith (12) as he scrambles during a college football game between Oklahoma State University (OSU) and the West Virginia University at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. OSU won 55-34. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman SARAH PHIPPS

But you're still going to play some linebacker, right?

Yeah, you know on the different packages we throw in, like third down packages, I'll be a linebacker for those. Similar to the times I was in the game last year (at linebacker), but I'll also be playing safety.

Long-term, even potentially at the next level, do you view yourself as a safety?

Oh yeah, I view myself as a safety. Until I can put on some weight. But yeah, I view myself being a safety in the league.

What do you like more about that position?

More freedom to roam. That's my biggest thing, being able to roam and going after the ball. If the ball is in the air, I feel like it's mine. At that position, I feel like I do it better than anybody.

Many of your coaches and teammates were high on you to the media last season, Gundy especially. Were those messages relayed to you?

Yeah, a lot of the guys would always tell me that every time I was on the field, I made big plays, made something happen. So as the year started going on, when I went on the field, everybody would tell me to go make something happen, go do what I do best.

Was it ever frustrating to know that, despite what you were doing, you weren't a starter?

You know, at linebacker, not really. But this year will be a little different, in a position I'm comfortable with and knowing I will have a chance to compete. You know, I had Shaun (Lewis) in front of me last year and he's been here three years and will be a senior. So now I feel like I've been here a while, made enough plays and got the system down, I'm just ready to be an every down player.

What makes you such a unique player?

I would say my length, my physicality. I may not be the biggest, but I love to hit. I've always been that guy. I want to be guy the offense looks at every time, ‘watch 27, watch 27.' So you know, I just love being physical and I feel like, at the end of the day, that's what it's about. Being physical, going to get the ball and attacking the person who has the ball.


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