When it was announced in mid-August 2016 that Tyron Johnson would be transferring from LSU to Oklahoma State, it created a lot of buzz. Even though the talented wide receiver would have to sit out a year, coaches, players and fans alike were filled with uncontrollable joy when they heard the news. Oklahoma State twitter was set ablaze with one simple tweet from Johnson himself:
Johnson didn’t see the field very much in his short stint at LSU, but the reason for all the excitement was the fact that he was a 5-star recruit and an Under Armor All American coming out of high school in 2015. Why is one 5-star recruit a big deal in the world of Oklahoma State football? Because OSU doesn’t get 5-star recruits… ever. You have to look back to the early 2000s on 247Sports and Rivals.com to find a 5-star recruit who enrolled at Oklahoma State.
Another question that might be crossing your mind is, “With all the talent that OSU has at receiver, will this guy even see the field?”. Well, my answer to that is… HELL YES HE WILL SEE THE FIELD! Oklahoma State has one of the, if not the best, receiving corps they’ve ever had, but Tyron Johnson is a special type of talent. He deserves a shot to show what he can do, and I believe he will get that chance and I don’t think he will disappoint.
So, what exactly will he bring to this Oklahoma State air attack?
He has shown the willingness to attack the ball at its highest point. Now hopefully Mason Rudolph throws a better pass than Brandon Harris here, but still, his ability to use his body and out jump the defender are traits that you definitely want to see in a receiver. By the way, does it remind you of any one…
But Johnson is not only a deep threat, he’s also shown the ability to get open on the intermediate routes and make plays after the catch:
Again, see a resemblance:
And then, there are plays like this…
As you can see, Johnson is a freak athlete with blazing speed. He only saw action in 4 games at LSU, grabbing 9 receptions for 150 yards and two touchdowns, but you have to take into account that LSU had a far different QB situation then than OSU has now. Brandon Harris threw for 2,165 yards with a 53.8% completion percentage that season, while Mason Rudolph threw for 4,091 with a 63.4% completion percentage last year.
Even if the Cowboys don’t run hockey line change substitutions with their stacked receiving corps, I believe Johnson will see the field and will see it often. He will most likely be fighting for time with Washington, Ateman, McCleskey, Chris Lacy, Dillon Stoner, Tyrell Alexander and new comer Tylan Wallace, but Gundy and Yurcich will find a way to get these guys on the field and put them in positions to make plays, and that includes Johnson.
Another key impact that Johnson will on the offense is the ability to take some of the attention of off of Oklahoma State star receiver James Washington. The defense will have to respect the deep ball, big play threat of Tyron Johnson. Do you shade a safety over to Johnson’s side of the field or do you edge towards Washington’s side? Can you spare a man for a double team? Man, I would hate to be a Big 12 defensive coordinator this season, because there isn’t going to be any right answer when teams match up against these receivers.
His versatility also makes him another option when the Cowboys need a first down. Marcell Ateman has shown the ability to be a reliable target to move the chains when the Cowboys are facing third down, and I think Johnson can be another option to compliment Ateman. Mason has shown some tendencies to be inaccurate on his mid-range throws in the past, but with the sure hands of Ateman and Johnson, all he’ll need to do is get the ball in their vicinity and the loud speaker inside Boone Pickens stadium will echo “GAIN GOOD FOR A COWWWBBBOOOYYYYYYY FIRST DOWN AND TEN!”.
Standing at 6’1, 190lbs Johnson has some size to go along with all of that speed and play making ability. As I’ve mentioned above, he can do things that Ateman and Washington are able to do, along with having a few attributes that make his skill set unique.
He’s even got the head man “drinking the Kool-Aid” as Coach Gundy told the media at spring practice:
“It’s early, and my coach told me a long time ago to be careful about drinking the Kool-Aid too early, but to this point, he’s been pretty impressive in practice with some of the plays he’s made.”
If that doesn’t make you want to buy a first-class ticket on the Tyron Johnson hype train then I don’t know what will.
All-in-all there’s a chance I could be wrong, maybe somebody spiked my Kool-Aid, but either way, after all of the buzz and hype, I can’t wait to see this guy take the field in the fall.