STILLWATER — Justin Blackmon decided to come back to Oklahoma State after winning the Biletnikoff Award in 2010 to try to bring the Cowboys their first Big 12 title and BCS bowl berth.
The junior superstar wide receiver helped OSU accomplish those goals when it capped an 11-1 regular season with a 44-10 victory over Bedlam rival Oklahoma on Saturday and earned a trip to the Fiesta Bowl to face Stanford.
And in the process, Blackmon put together another monster season, which is why he was awarded the Biletnikoff for the second consecutive year Thursday night at the College Football Awards show in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Blackmon, who beat out OU's Ryan Broyles and USC's Robert Woods for the honor given to the nation's top wide receiver, joins former Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree as the only players to win the Biletnikoff twice. Crabtree took home the honor in 2007 and 2008.
“I'm overjoyed,” Blackmon said during the ESPN telecast after accepting the award. “It's a blessing to be up here, be up for an award again.”
Blackmon finished second in the nation in catches (113), seventh in receiving yards (1,336) and tied for third in touchdowns (15). His catch total broke his own OSU record set last season (111), while his yardage total is currently the fifth-most in school history.
Blackmon has already been named a Walter Camp and American Football Coaches Association first-team All-American and a first-team All-Big 12 selection by the league's coaches and media members.
“It was teammates opening it up for me,” Blackmon said of his success this season. “We had a great running game this year, and our quarterback put us in good situations.”
Nov. 5 is perhaps the day the Biletnikoff race turned in Blackmon's favor.
That afternoon, Broyles, the likely frontrunner for the award at that time, tore his anterior cruciate ligament against Texas A&M. A few hours later, Blackmon tied his career high with 13 catches and compiled 205 yards and two touchdowns in OSU's dramatic 52-45 victory over Kansas State.
That propelled Blackmon to a dominant finish to the regular season, amassing 39 catches for 502 yards and five touchdowns in the Cowboys' final four games.
Blackmon almost certainly will not pass on the NFL a second time, as he was honored during Senior Night festivities before the OU game and has said that he will “probably” declare for the 2012 draft after the Fiesta Bowl. He is projected as the No. 4 overall pick on ESPN NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper's Big Board and is rated the No. 9 overall prospect by Scouts Inc.'s Todd McShay.
Blackmon will likely finish his OSU career at No. 2 on the school's all-time lists for both catches (244) and receiving yards (3,378).
But more importantly, his two Biletnikoff seasons played a critical role in elevating the Cowboy program.
“Because he's been one of the best practice players we've had this year, he's helped our team get to the level we are now,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said earlier this season. “Your team is generally going to follow and react to the way the players are that get the most attention, and he's been very good for us.”