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Oklahoma State Football

Leon Johnson III Runs 4.5 and Other Cowboys Show Off at Big 12 Pro Day

March 28, 2024

FRISCO, Texas – This was primarily offense and defensive skill players day at the first ever Big 12 Pro Day held inside the Big 12 footprint and not far from the conference offices in Irving, Texas over in Frisco at the Dallas Cowboys headquarters at The Star. The testing information was kept pretty close to the vest, but it was Oklahoma State wide receiver Leon Johnson III that the most information came out on. Johnson, a transfer from NCAA Division III George Fox University ran a 4.5 flat and for a 6-5, 207 pound receiver, excellent size, that is speedy enough.  

Big 12 Conference
The Cowboys Leon Johnson III is right there in front of the coach explaining.

“I felt very good about today. Honestly, I was hoping to get that 4.4-something on the 40,” Johnson said. “Even 4.49 I would’ve been OK with, which some of the scouts may have got. But the one who reported to me was a 4.5-flat. But other than that, I was really happy with everything I did and all the numbers I got and everything else I did, 10-10 on the broad jump and 35 inches on the vertical. I was really happy with those numbers.”

Johnson was joined in Frisco with Cowboys teammates tight end Josiah Johnson, fullback and tight end Braden Cassity, and running back Elijah Collins. 

Collins, injured a lot of the year was a second-team All-Big Ten running back in his red-shirt freshman season at Michigan State. Cassity tested well and the pure Cowboys performer was able to work out at two positions with work at tight end and fullback. I like him most as a fullback.

Bruce Waterfield/Jerod Hill/OSU Athletics
Johnson III congratulate Ollie Gordon after making a block to help him get in the end zone.

Johnson was going to red-shirt last season, but multiple injuries at wide receiver forced Johnson to eat up his remaining year of eligibility. He did it well despite the late start with 33 receptions for 539-yards and a touchdown. He was also an excellent blocker that got the final block and took out that last defender on a number of Ollie Gordon II touchdown runs.

“I want to show that the level of football you’re at doesn’t really matter,” Johnson explained. “A lot of guys look down on D-III, and while the skill isn’t always up to par with D-I, there are guys down there who are respected and can do what I’m doing now. So showing guys that are down there that don’t believe in themselves that you can make it here and everybody has a chance.”

I truly believe that Josiah Johnson would be a major NFL tight end prospect if he had been at Oklahoma State his entire collegiate career. I think he feels the same way. He learned last season to be a strong blocker and really helped a lot with the gap scheme run concepts the Cowboys employed. He was good at the standard tight end routes.

“I wanted them to see my route running. I might not be the fastest on the 40, but I feel like I run a pretty good route, I’ve got some pretty good ball skills, so I hope I showed that,” Johnson said to the media after his workout. “Then the film will show the blocking. I pride myself in trying to be a tough guy. Hopefully they look and see that I’m not afraid to be a battering ram if they need me to. Just hoping to show that I can do whatever they need me to do and be a good team player.”

There are few players that came out of the transfer portal that seemed as truly grateful to be there at OSU as Josiah.

Jerod Hill/OSU Athletics
Josiah Johnson (16) ready to block.

“I’m just extremely blessed. I’m thankful to God for the opportunity to play for Oklahoma State,” he said. “It was one of the best years of my life. It was an absolutely incredible experience. I wish I had more years. Then to be here at the first Big 12 Pro Day — they’ve done a great job putting this together. It’s been cool to be able to be here for multiple days, get to interact with a lot of scouts and really try to get your name out there and try to earn a spot at the next level.”

The othuer Cowboys incpuding snapper Zeke Zaragoza, kicker Alex Hale, defensive ends Anthony Goodlow and Nathan Latu along with linebacker Xavier Benson will workout on Saturday in Frisco at day two of the Big 12 Pro Day.

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Leon Johnson III Runs 4.5 and Other Cowboys Show Off at Big 12 Pro Day

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