STILLWATER — After missing the 2009 season with a knee injury, Oklahoma State linebacker Orie Lemon will return in 2010 with a message.
Expect a different Orie Lemon.
The senior from Houston (Yates) was forced to sit and watch while his fellow seniors led the Cowboys to the Cotton Bowl, and that experience has transformed Lemon into a more passionate player.
"I found more love that I didn’t think I had for the game,” Lemon said. "I was crying before games, in practices because I wanted to be out there. I was hurting every practice because I wanted to be out there with my teammates.”
Now heading into the 2010 season, Lemon is expected to be the anchor of the Pokes’defense. His injury was a nightmare for the Pokes’ coaching staff at the time, but it’s become a blessing in disguise.
"It was difficult when he got hurt,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. "We couldn’t imagine losing him at the time. Now, we’re glad we have him back. We’re going to need him and his maturity.”
As a junior in 2008, Lemon finished second on the team with 90 tackles and he has looked impressive this spring.