Sept. 30, 2013
FRISCO, Texas -
Junior receiver and return specialist Kevin Johnson has been named Southland Conference Special Teams Player of the Week announced league officials Monday morning. Johnson becomes the third Cardinal to receive a weekly conference superlative since Lamar resurrected the program. His recognition comes only 24 hours after senior Jesse Dickson was named SLC Defensive Player of the Week by College Sports Madness.
In addition to being recognized by the Southland, Johnson has also been named the National Punt Returner of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA).
"His return was definitely the spark that we needed Saturday," said head coach Ray Woodard. "We were trailing 16-0 at the time and it was the turning point in the game. His first punt return for a touchdown couldn't have come at a better time."
The Cardinals found themselves in a 16-point hole to start the game at Grambling State Saturday. LU's defense forced Grambling to punt from deep in its own territory early in the second quarter. Johnson fielded that punt at the GSU 48 yard line and took it the distance for the touchdown. It was Lamar's first score of the game, and it flipped the momentum over to Lamar's sideline. Following the punt return, Lamar rattled off 21 unanswered points while holding the Tigers scoreless for the final 50 minutes.
Johnson has returned two kicks for scores during his career, but Saturday marked the first punt returned for the 6-0, 210-pound junior receiver from Houston's Cypress Ridge High School. Johnson has scored 16 touchdowns during his career.
Johnson averaged 30 yards per return on three returns, and 23 yards per kickoff return during Saturday's game. Johnson is currently ranked 12th nationally in punt returns averaging 15 yards per punt. He is also averaging better than 21 yards per kick return.
The Cardinals enter the off week with a 3-2 (.600) overall record, which equals the best start since Lamar brought back football. LU opens conference play Saturday, Oct. 12 at Sam Houston State.