Daje Johnson burst onto the scene in the Longhorns' season opener, scoring on a 66-yard touchdown catch on Texas' last drive of the first half and running for a 24-yard touchdown on its first second-half possession.
He hasn't made much of an impact since, due in large part to the ankle injury that forced him to miss two games and most of a third. But Johnson will be returning punts this week against Oklahoma, taking over for junior wide receiver Jaxon Shipley.
"The thing Daje gives you is the ability to score every time he touches it," Texas head coach Mack Brown said. "He's got great speed. We will put him at punt return this week for the first time because we need to get more out of punt return than we're getting."
Texas is averaging 9.1 yards per punt return this season, the third-fewest in the Big 12. Junior defensive back Quandre Diggs was the Longhorns' main punt returner for their first three games, returning five punts for 48 yards before Shipley took over and returned four punts for 33 yards over the last two contests.
Johnson had a 10-yard punt return in the 56-7 season-opening win over New Mexico State, a game in which he totaled 139 all-purpose yards and scored two touchdowns -- matching his total from his freshman campaign last year.
But Johnson left the next game against BYU after injuring his ankle on the first drive and did not play in either of the next two games against Ole Miss and Kansas State. He returned for the win over Iowa State last Thursday but was used sparingly, catching two passes for 25 yards without getting a single carry.
"We were cautious because we didn't know if he was 100 percent," Brown said. "We feel like we'll be able to utilize him better this weekend. He was a big part of our plan against BYU and he got hurt on the third play."
Johnson, who also has three kickoff returns for 47 yards on the year, is averaging 12.6 yards each time he has touched the ball this season.