Meeting the team: offensive player No. 1

NORMAN, Okla. — In previous years, Sooners Illustrated has provided the "most important player" countdown heading through fall camp, but this time there's a new wrinkle. SI is poised to completely acquaint you with the team leading into the start of fall camp, beginning with day one right now.

Player: Lane Johnson

Hometown: Groveton, Texas

Class: Senior

Height & Weight: 6-foot-6, 296 pounds

Likely position on fall depth chart: Starting left tackle

The rundown: Johnson is the first of many wily veterans on the 2012 Sooner offensive line. He started 12 of 13 games last season at the right tackle position, where he recorded a season-high 10 knockdowns in a game at Kansas. The only game he missed was the season opener against Tulsa, and he became a mainstay on the offensive line after that. Johnson, who's just as smart intellectually as he is good athletically on the field, earned Academic All-Big 12 first team honors in 2011. He's also skipped around from tight end to defensive end back to where he is now on the offensive line throughout his career.

Expectations for 2012: He'll be charged with a couple of challenging tasks heading into the season. First off, protecting Heisman hopeful quarterback Landry Jones' blindside is one. Secondly, in the process Johnson has to pick up the slack left behind by Kansas City Chiefs third round draft pick Donald Stephenson, who occupied Jones' backside last year. He's certainly a key cog if this offense is going to have the kind of flow it has in the past. He'll be expected to contain the most aggressive defensive ends in the Big 12. And all of that is what Johnson must live up to.

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