UNIVERSITY PARK, Texas — When talking about impact players on defense, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy consistently mentions Lyndell Johnson.
Johnson isn't a starter at outside linebacker, but provides key versatility at the position because of his lateral speed and athleticism. Even though he missed four games with a foot injury, Johnson finished the regular season with 24 tackles (6.5 for loss), two sacks, two interceptions and one fumble recovery. And he'll likely be an important factor for the Cowboy defense while matching up against Purdue's short passing game in Tuesday's Heart of Dallas Bowl.
Johnson talked Saturday with The Oklahoman's Gina Mizell about his season, the injury and his goals for 2013.
How would you characterize your season? You missed a good chunk of time due to injury, but made a lot of plays when you were out there.
“It's been up and down, like a seesaw. One minute, it was good. Then it was bad. All the times it was bad, it was because I was hurt. All the times it was good, it's because I've been playing. Playing the game of football, injuries come, so you've got to live with it.”
How frustrating was that time you had to sit out with the injury?
“It happened in warm-ups (before the Arizona game). It didn't happen because of contact. It was a freak accident. Watching those games, it was like, ‘I wish I could be out there.' I'm back again, that's all that matters.”