Top Emerging Players: No. 8 Kevin Johnson

We continue our list of the Top 10 Emerging Players for 2011. To be eligible for this list you either have to be a returning player that has never had any regular playing duty on the team, be a newcomer, or redshirt player that has yet to break into the lineup. The criteria is also need on the team, whether as a starter or in a critical spot on the depth chart.

No. 8 - Kevin Johnson, WR
6-0, 190, RS-Fr.
Houston (Cypress Ridge), Texas

While it is not absolutely critical for Johnson to emerge this season, the wide receiver position at Oklahoma State is a premium as this offense is fueled in part by talent and depth at wide receiver. The more quality pass catchers putting up big numbers the better for the offense and the more difficult it becomes to defend.

There are plenty of quality receivers but it would be nice to add one from the 2010 recruiting class. Johnson showed up well early last season and at one point there was consideration in playing him. In the end he wasn't needed and was able to continue his physical development and continue learning the game as a red-shirt.

We are talking about a guy that had right at 900 yards of offense as a senior, with 485 yards rushing. As a junior, he got on the recruiting map with 690 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns.

In the spring, Johnson was more confident and he had a much better grasp of the offense. He benefits from the instruction of two former NFL position coaches in offensive coordinator Todd Monken and his position coach Kasey Dunn.

Johnson has good speed and is bigger and stronger now, which will help him handle, get off the line, and position himself against Division I defensive backs.

We think you will see Johnson play a contributing role in the offense this fall. He has also become a good blocker downfield for the running game and for his fellow receivers.

We used to guess statistical numbers for the team going into the season, and in reverting back to that we think Johnson will catch 22 passes for 324 yards and three touchdowns. Modest numbers, but a solid start to his career.

The Top 10 Emerging Players
No. 10 Kye Staley
No. 9 Justin Gilbert

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