Oklahoma State receiver Tracy Moore called over to Daytawion Lowe, asking his teammate what “Ryan's” last name was.
Moore was talking about sophomore linebacker Ryan Simmons, who has earned positive buzz during the spring and fall camp since moving from the backup middle linebacker spot to the starter on the weak side.
“I didn't know he was starting,” Moore said. “And then you line up against him, and he's out there guarding you and putting his hands on you and stuff. He's pretty strong. He's definitely ready to play.”
Last season, Simmons tallied 23 tackles (4.5 for loss), 0.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one pass breakup as Caleb Lavey's primary backup.
DAYTAWION LOWE ‘SHOCKED' AT LYNDELL JOHNSON'S QUICK ADJUSTMENT TO SAFETY
Lyndell Johnson emerged as a dynamic playmaker for the OSU defense last season, racking up 28 tackles (6.5 for loss), two sacks, two interceptions, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one quarterback hurry and one pass breakup while playing in nine games as a reserve hybrid outside linebacker.
This spring, he moved to strong safety, where he's currently competing with Shamiel Gary for the starting job.
The new position wasn't completely foreign to Johnson, as he played safety in high school. Still, Lowe was impressed with how quickly he adjusted back to the secondary.
“It shocked me how fast he got it down,” Lowe said. “It looked like he had been playing safety for four years. The way he just reversed the roles and got it so fast was impressive to me.
“We've got him in a lot of different positions. He is going to be a factor.”
RELIANT STADIUM FAMILIAR TURF FOR SHAUN LEWIS
Many Cowboys have expressed excitement about opening the season at Reliant Stadium, the home of the NFL's Houston Texans.
But it will feel like old times for linebacker Shaun Lewis. He played in the stadium as a high school junior, when his school, Fort Bend Hightower, faced Allen in the 2008 Class 5A Division I state championship game.
“It's an awesome stadium,” Lewis said.