Charlie Johnson Breaks 20-Year Drought

Charlie Johnson will board a plane bound for Indianapolis and the Colts rookie mini camp on Thursday, and with that Charlie Johnson's NFL career will begin. Johnson ended a long streak and replaced former OSU and Chicago Bears and Minnesota Viking offensive lineman Paul Blair as a trivia question answer. Johnson became the first Oklahoma State offensive lineman to be selected in the NFL Draft in 20 years - since the Bears selected Blair. Johnson was taken in the sixth round by the Colts.

"It's a blessing - a dream come true, and something I have been working for since I begin playing football," said Johnson.

It was thought that the Cowboys would go without a player being drafted, but Johnson had plenty of hope based on his predraft workouts with several teams including the Colts on Easter weekend in Indianapolis. Johnson said he was anxious Sunday any time the Colts, Seattle Seahawks, Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons were on the clock.

"All of those teams had me in for workouts and had showed interest in me," said the 6-5, 295-pound Johnson. Johnson said he spent the weekend with family and friends cooking out, eating, and having fun. He said he watched the first day of the draft as a fan and the tension didn't mount until day two of the draft.

"The Colts were on the clock in the sixth round and my phone rang and it was an assistant general manager telling me they had turned the card in," Johnson described. "My name came up and my dad was jumping up and down and my mom kind of broke down. It was really kind of surreal and took a while to sink in."

Johnson said Colts head coach Tony Dungy replaced the other man on the phone and told him that the Colts were happy to get him where they did, and then he began explaining what would go on the next weekend with the mini camp.

"He's a class act," said Johnson of Dungy. "I am definitely looking forward to playing for him, ready to get up there and start learning."

Offensive line is a glamorous job in Indy as they protect a future Hall of Famer in quarterback Peyton Manning. It is a big time opportunity for Johnson.

"It is, just to be on the same field with him," Johnson said of Manning. "He is so smart and knows so much about the game that he calls his own plays. The offensive coordinator just says here are the plays go get it. I can learn so much from his work ethic and the way he studies tape. Their offensive line has been together and they know the offense so I can really learn from them."

The move Johnson made from tight end to offensive tackle before his senior season seems to have paid off, and Johnson said he has enjoyed every moment of his college career at Oklahoma State. Now that Mike Gundy and staff have put an emphasis on bring back alums, Johnson said he looks forward to coming back every chance he gets.

It's important to note that Johnson has his degree and he was honored as the top senior student-athlete on the football team at a recent academic banquet. On and off the field, Charlie Johnson was what OSU wants it's football athletes to be, successful.

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