Oklahoma State Football: How Will Lyndell Johnson's Move to Safety Impact Pokes?

Ricky FrechCorrespondent IMarch 28, 2013

Lyndell Johnson puts a hit on TCU's Aaron Green
Lyndell Johnson puts a hit on TCU's Aaron GreenRichard Rowe-USA TODAY Sports

As reported by Gina Mizell of NewsOK.com earlier this week, Oklahoma State Cowboys outside linebacker Lyndell Johnson is making a position change this spring.

Johnson will use his superior athleticism and range to help bolster the Pokes secondary from the safety spot.

This move largely helps with depth, as most of OSU's other safeties will be gone after 2013 and adding some youth to the unit is a priority.

On the other hand, the linebacker corps is full of young prospects who need playing time to mature.

Johnson's switch to safety opens up both positions for the Cowboys.

Obviously, the safety depth is greatly enhanced by this, but with Johnson out of the linebacker rotation, the door is opened for young guys like DeMarcus Sherod and Ryan Simmons to make an immediate impact.

Simmons in particular is already benefiting from this move because it allows him to move from middle linebacker to the weak side, where minutes are easier to come by.

That should give one of the Pokes' best young players a chance to shine in 2013, hopefully improving the defense as a whole. 

In addition to easing the logjam at linebacker, the prospect of having Lyndell Johnson as the starting safety in 2014 is pretty interesting.

Daytawion Lowe and Shamiel Gary are probably locked in as the starters for next fall, with Johnson getting some playing during his first year at the position.

That said, he provides an intriguing option with his 6'3", 215-pound frame.

His tall, lean body gives him ideal size, while his lateral speed and overall athleticism make him a candidate to get immediate playing time if he can learn the position quickly.

Don't be surprised to see Johnson line up all over the field this fall; he's just too good of a playmaker to keep out of the rotation.

Johnson's impact is going to be felt all across the defense this year.

His move will open up the linebacker position for talented guys like Ryan Simmons, as well as give the safety position depth and insurance for the future.