Defensive Player of the Week: Oklahoma State


I wrote on Thursday that if Johnson could limit the best receiver in the nation, Justin Blackmon, the Cyclones may have a chance to pull off the historical win.  Leonard Johnson did it.  He is a huge reason why the Clones beat the #2-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys last night.  Blackmon ended up catching 10 passes and a touchdown but don’t let that fool you.  Many of his receptions were quick passes for little gain and on the touchdown, Johnson defended him perfectly but Blackmon made an amazing play.  Many times Brandon Weeden looked Blackmon’s way but had to go somewhere else due to Leonard Johnson’s excellent coverage.  He ended the game with an interception (first of the year) and a recovered fumble.  In his last game at Jack Trice Stadium, Johnson played the best game of his career.

Also, his domination of Blackmon will boost his NFL Draft status.

From Tom Melton’s NFL Draft Blog:

"I can’t say enough about how well Leonard Johnson played tonight. Weeden throws the ball to Blackmon a lot, but a number of times Johnson’s blanket coverage on Blackmon forced Weeden to look at other receivers, hold onto the ball too long and at times force throws. Johnson was very good in man coverage, particularly down the sideline. He did a great job of taking away Weeden’s windows to throw to Blackmon by using the sideline to his advantage and staying right in Blackmon’s hip pocket making it nearly impossible to throw into that window. I wasn’t sure how impressed I was in zone coverage, and even in spite of his great effort mirroring Blackmon for the entire game he still gave up 10 catches for 99 yards and 1 TD. There wasn’t anything he could do about the TD, it was just a terrific play by Blackmon, but he definitely frustrated him and it was a very heated, competitive battle. Additionally, at least three or four of his catches were on screens at the line of scrimmage. Downfield Johnson had very good coverage for the majority of the game. They both seem to be very intense competitors, and while Johnson was jawing at Blackmon more and more throughout the game he never seemed to get so heated that he lost his cool. I had never specifically watched Johnson before, but he left a terrific impression on me tonight. He played great against arguably the best wide receiver in the country."

Thank you Leonard Johnson for your performance and for all of the years.