The Iowa State Cyclones had a tough Saturday evening, losing 37-14 at home against the Texas Longhorns.
Perhaps of even greater concern is the fact that they lost three of their best players in senior cornerback Leonard Johnson and both starting offensive tackles, Kelechi Osemele and Brayden Burris, to injuries.
Johnson's appeared the scariest initially. According to Bobby La Gesse of GoCyclones.com Johnson was injured while trying to make a tackle in the fourth quarter. Johnson, NFLDraftScout.com's No. 7 rated senior cornerback, was twice hit in the head by teammates. He was taken off the field on a stretcher and spent Saturday night in a nearby hospital. Though no official prognosis has been made public Sunday morning, Johnson did wave to the crowd as he was carted off the field. Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads said that Johnson was able to move his "arms, legs, hands and fingers" while on the field.
The news didn't get much better on the other side of the ball for the Cyclones as Burris, a two-year starter at right tackle, was diagnosed with a fractured foot.
Osemele, the Cyclones' left tackle and highest rated pro prospect, appears to have been the most fortunate of the three. He re-injured the troublesome right ankle that had hampered him earlier in the season and Rhoads said the injury affected Osemele's right knee, as well.
A tenacious blocker at 6-5, 347 pounds, Osemele may struggle with quick pass rushers in the NFL. As such, NFLDraftScout.com projects him to move inside to guard at the next level. He is currently rated as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 3 guard prospect for the 2012 draft and a potential top 50 selection.