OU's Lane Johnson goes from quarterback to offensive tackle

BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Modified: August 9, 2011 at 9:01 am •  Published: August 8, 2011

NORMAN – Lane Johnson finally has found a home.

Johnson has adapted so quickly to his newest position he could be in the starting lineup Sept. 3 when Oklahoma opens the football season against Tulsa.

A former quarterback, tight end and defensive end, Johnson was moved to offensive tackle last spring after Jarvis Jones suffered a knee injury.

Four months later, offensive tackles coach Bruce Kittle announced on Monday Johnson is alternating as the starting left tackle with Donald Stephenson, a returning starter.

"Lane has progressed really well," Kittle said. "He's in quite a battle. It's pretty intense right now."

Big (6-foot-6), thick (305 pounds) and athletic (runs a 4.8 in the 40), Johnson is a player teammates are buzzing about.

With Jones sidelined at least two more months, Johnson, Stephenson and redshirt freshman Daryl Williams are competing for the two starting tackle jobs. The player that doesn't start will serve as the backup on both sides.

"Lane has done everything we've asked," Kittle said. "He just hasn't had a lot of reps at that position with all our zone stuff. Every day he's getting better -- aiming points, footwork, blocking out. And his pass protection is improving. He's right on pace where he should be to help us."

It's rare to see a quarterback grow into an offensive lineman, but that's Johnson's story.

Three years ago, Johnson was a quarterback at Kilgore College. He switched to tight end then transferred to OU.

After redshirting, Johnson was still a tight end at this time last season but moved to defensive end midway through the season.

Johnson opened spring drills at defensive end but moved to the O-line after Jones' injury.



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