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OSU Player to Watch, Day 1: Orie Lemon

OSU Player to Watch, Day 1: Orie Lemon OSU Player to Watch, Day 1: Orie Lemon

Originally Published: Feb 14, 2010 3:34 PM CDT

Gerald Goodridge
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

LB Orie Lemon

Background:

Orie Lemon played for three seasons for Oklahoma State, but an ACL tear ended his senior season before it started. Lemon finished second on the team in tackles his junior season, while playing sparingly in his first two seasons in Stillwater. In high school, Lemon played quarterback for Yates High School in Texas, where during his senior season he accounted for 1,814 yards and 26 tackles.

Why He’s on the List:

Lemon is a player that was big for the Cowboys in the past, but when the knee injury forced him to redshirt many forgot he was a difference maker. Lemon accounted for 90 tackles his junior year, finishing second on the team and forced two fumbles. That season was a quantum leap from where he was his sophomore season, and with good rehab and a good offseason he should be able to get back to that level. He should also be big as a leader on the field for an OSU defense that has had a lot of offseason turnover.

Best Case Scenario:

Lemon picks up where he left off two seasons ago, making tackles all over the field. If he retains the quickness that was his biggest asset as a linebacker, Lemon should have no problem picking back up where he left off to lead the Cowboys. It would be big for OSU if he could come in and bring some maturity and leadership to a defense that will be fairly young.

Worst Case Scenario:

If Lemon has lost his quickness to the knee injury, he will obviously be less effective at the linebacker spot and resulting big loss for the Cowboys. That would create yet another hole for Oklahoma State to fulfill on the defensive side of the ball. Defense has always been an issue for the Cowboys and losing that presence on that side of the ball would be a huge loss for OSU.

My Take:

Lemon shouldn’t have ay problem picking back up where he left off two seasons ago as one of the top defenders of the Cowboys. Losing Andre Sexton to graduation hurts the Cowboys front seven in both skill and maturity, and with an extra year, Lemon should fill in that void nicely. If Lemon has another big season, it could go a very long way to clearing up one of the many big question marks on the OSU defense.

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