Mike Gundy calls Justin Blackmon OSU's best receiver ever
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Sunday, January 01, 2012
1/01/12 at 5:54 AM
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - In that he was the quarterback who passed to Hart Lee Dykes, the coordinator of the offense driven by Rashaun Woods and the head coach of the dazzling Dez Bryant, Mike Gundy expresses an extremely high level of respect for each of those former Oklahoma State wide receivers.
During the 2010 season, Gundy frequently was asked whether Justin Blackmon deserved membership in the Dykes-Woods-Bryant club.
Gundy was consistent with his response: "Let's see how Blackmon does over a longer period of time."
During Oklahoma State's preparation for Monday's Fiesta Bowl meeting with Stanford, Gundy again was asked to address the historical status of Blackmon - a two-time unanimous All-American and two-time recipient of the Biletnikoff Award, presented annually to the best wide receiver in college football.
When asked now about Blackmon's place among the elite receivers in Cowboy program history, Gundy's position is firm.
"I don't think there's any question that (Blackmon) is the best who has ever played at Oklahoma State," Gundy said. "He's going down, in my opinion, as the best player to play here since Barry Sanders (OSU's 1988 Heisman Trophy-winning tailback)."
A fourth-year junior from Ardmore, Blackmon has one remaining season of OSU eligibility, but - projected to be a top-10 pick overall - he is expected to enter the 2012 NFL draft.
In all likelihood, Stanford is his final college opponent.
"(Blackmon) is the best receiver in the nation," Stanford coach David Shaw said. "He is great after the catch. He is a big, physical kid. ... A game-changer."
Blackmon and quarterback Brandon Weeden certainly have been game-changers for Oklahoma State. In their two seasons as the most prominent figures in the offense, the Cowboys are 22-3.
During a news conference in January, Blackmon and Weeden announced that they would stay at OSU instead of entering the NFL draft. Their stated goals - to win the 2011 Big 12 championship and take Oklahoma State to its first appearance in a Bowl Championship Series game. Each goal was achieved.
In 2010, Blackmon set single-season school records for receptions (111), receiving yards (1,782) and touchdown catches (20). This season, he broke his record for catches (113), but his yardage (1,336) and TD receptions (15) haven't matched 2010 standards. Nevertheless, Gundy says the 2011 performance is more impressive because the game plan of every opposing defense centers on Blackmon.
Making the remarkable seems routine, Blackmon's most impressive statistic might be this one: Since the start of the 2010 season, he has played 24 games. In 12 games, he had at least 10 receptions.
Justin Blackmon's position in the Oklahoma State record book:
4,414: Rashaun Woods (2000-03)
3,378: Justin Blackmon (2009-11)
3,171: Hart Lee Dykes (1985-88)
2,751: D'Juan Woods (2002-06)
2,425: Dez Bryant (2007-09)
293: Rashaun Woods
244: Justin Blackmon
203: Hart Lee Dykes
163: D'Juan Woods
154: Josh Cooper (2008-11)
42: Rashaun Woods
37: Justin Blackmon
29: Hart Lee Dykes
29: Dez Bryant
20: D'Juan Woods
20: Adarius Bowman (2006-07)
FIESTA BOWL: OKLAHOMA STATE VS. STANFORD
7:30 p.m. Monday
At Glendale, Ariz.
Radio: KFAQ am1170, KAKC am1300
Original Print Headline: Simply the best
Bill Haisten 918-581-8397
Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon is pursued by Baylor's K.J. Morton (left) and Mike Hicks during the Cowboys' win Oct. 29. Head coach Mike Gundy said Blackmon is the best receiver to have played at Oklahoma State. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World