OSU coach Mike Gundy: We almost had to hide Justin Blackmon's helmet

BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: October 24, 2011
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Oklahoma State junior wide receiver Justin Blackmon is an All-American and a pending NFL first-round draft choice, but his coach said he is one lousy patient.

Blackmon got "dinged" late in the second quarter of Saturday's 45-24 victory at Missouri and sat out the entire second half after being examined by the Cowboys' medical staff.

During Monday morning's weekly Big 12 coaches teleconference, OSU coach Mike Gundy was asked if Blackmon was coherent enough to put up a fight to go back into the game.

"That'd be a 'yes' on both," Gundy said. "He was coherent enough and he was fighting me. We thought we were going to have to take his helmet. I thought I was going to have to call a 'Thurman Thomas' and see if we could take his helmet away from him."

(Someone unwittingly moved Thomas' helmet before the start of Super Bowl XXVI and the former OSU All-American running back missed the Buffalo Bills' first two offensive plays in their 37-24 loss to the Washington Redskins in 1992.)

Gundy said his decision to sit Blackmon had as much to do with the player's future as it did the present.

"Justin is a very competitive person," Gundy said. "He had gotten dinged in the head, so he had a headache and that sends up red flags with the medical staff, justifiably so. Then you tell him he can't play. Then you have a guy who just froths at the mouth to play the game anyway. The combination of that, and the game was going on. I mean, I had a lot of things going on there that were a factor because he wanted to be on the field.

"Could he have played? Probably, but whether it's him – you've got a guy with an unbelievable career ahead of him – or any other player, you can't do it. We've had that happen here before. We've had to sit guys in that situation."

Last year's winner of the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top collegiate receiver, Blackmon has 61 receptions for 662 yards (10.9 per) and eight touchdowns in essentially six games this season – having sat out the second half of a 70-28 rout against Kansas the previous week.

Gundy said when one of his players suffers a head injury, that player does nothing on Sunday and Monday and is re-evaluated on Tuesday.

"I think he is going to be fine," Gundy said of Blackmon playing in Saturday's 2:30 p.m. home game against Baylor.

Here is how Gundy responded to other teleconference questions:

On the loss of senior wide receiver Hubert Anyiam, who will miss the remainder of the regular season with a foot injury:

"Josh (Cooper) and the other wide receivers will have to make some more plays now. It really tore me up when we lost Hubert. He's done such a great job for us and has been such a good kid. Everybody has to do a little more and make up for it. (Junior) Isaiah Anderson becomes more of a player in our offense."

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