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Alamo Bowl notebook: Fantastic farewell for Blackmon?

by John Helsley Modified: December 30, 2010 at 5:06 am •  Published: December 30, 2010

Much speculation surrounds Justin Blackmon's status going forward.

Will he jump to the NFL as a draft-eligible sophomore?

Will he return to the Cowboys for another run at a Big 12 title and maybe even a Heisman Trophy?

Blackmon did his thing again Wednesday night, enough to make both sides — OSU fans and NFL personnel types alike — hope they have him in 2011.

There were records:

*The most receiving yards (1,782) by a sophomore receiver in NCAA history, surpassing Larry Fitzgerald's mark (1,672) from 2003

*A 12th game with at least 100 yards and one touchdown, another NCAA mark.

*The most single-season receptions (111) in school history.

*The most receiving yards in a season in school history.

*The most touchdown catches (20) in a season in school history.

There have been reports this week that Blackmon told a group of OSU fans that he was coming back to school next season. He might have been playing to the crowd, or he might have been breaking news.

After the rout of Arizona, and after Cowboys fans chanted, “One more year… One more year” as Blackmon accepted the Offensive MVP award, he sounded undecided about a decision that has so far been delayed.

“It's still delayed and until I make my decision,” Blackmon said, “it's going to be delayed.”

Decision Day is Jan. 15.

Both sides will be watching.


Blackmon isn't the only Cowboy with pending plans.

Quarterback Brandon Weeden also has a decision to make, with the possibility he, too, could declare for the NFL Draft.

Most NFL analysts suggest Weeden could greatly benefit from another year at OSU. And he's not ranked in the vicinity of Blackmon, who currently projects as a first round pick.

Still, Weeden could further improve his stock in the time between now and the NFL Draft in April.

What might he do?

“I'll tell you Jan. 15,” he said.

And what of the lethal combination of Weeden-to-Blackmon? Have we seen the last of it?

“I'll tell you Jan. 15.”

2010: BEST EVER?

For all the low expectations accompanying the Cowboys into this season, the team posted one of the best seasons in school history.

Maybe the best, depending on the perspective.

“It feels great to get 11 wins,” said defensive tackle Shane Jarka. “The OSU program is on the up and up.”

OSU tied for the Big 12 South title and won 11 games for the first time in school history.

The contenders for best Cowboys season ever:

*2010: 11-2, won Alamo Bowl

*1945: 9-0, won Cotton Bowl

*1944: 8-1, won Cotton Bowl

*1984: 10-2, won Gator Bowl

*1988: 10-2, won Holiday Bowl

*1987: 10-2, won Sun Bowl


When Quinn Sharp was ruled academically ineligible, robbing the Cowboys of their superb punter and kickoff specialist, all the kicking duties fell onto Dan Bailey.

Bailey won this season's Lou Groza Award as the nation's outstanding placekicker. And in the tradition of the multi-talented Groza, who doubled as an outstanding lineman, Bailey handled his expanded role quite well.

He averaged 39 yards on five punts, with a long of 48 yards and another boot inside the 20. His kickoffs were strong. And in his day job, Bailey booted three field goals, covering 40, 50 and 44 yards, making him 27-of-31 on field goals for the season.

Bailey's only glitch: a missed extra point, only the second miss of his career.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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