STILLWATER — Blake Jackson still thinks about his role in Oklahoma State's loss to Baylor to end the regular season.
Specifically, he thinks about the two potential touchdown catches he dropped in a seven-point defeat, the first on a ball floated to him near the right corner of the end zone on the Cowboys' opening drive and the second on a trick play that left Jackson wide open in the middle of the field near the goal line early in the third quarter.
“I knew how much impact (that game) had on our bowl implications,” Jackson said. “It really doesn't hurt anybody worse than it hurts me, honestly. I just felt like I let my team down, and it's been stuck in my mind since that happened.
“It's a moment I don't like to relive a lot, but it's definitely made me hungry.”
Jackson continued to be brutally honest Wednesday when assessing his entire up-and-down debut season with OSU in his first media session since becoming a Cowboy.
To him, it was mostly down.
“I'm really hard on myself, so I don't think I did well at all,” Jackson said. “I think I can be a prime time player, so I'm working really hard to get to that level. I'm really tough on myself, more so than anybody else.
“So I wouldn't think it was a good year at all.”
After transferring from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College last spring, Jackson's junior campaign was, at the very least, odd.
The 6-foot-3, 235-pound receiver was often a physical mismatch inside and usually picked up big chunks of yards whenever he caught the football. He led the Cowboys with 19.9 yards per catch and ranked second on the team with 598 receiving yards.
But Jackson sometimes disappeared from the Cowboy offense for long stretches of time, catching one or zero passes in six of 13 games. He was not a stellar route runner — most of his catches came straight down the middle of the field — and was sometimes stiff in his body movements.
And his biggest issue was, of course, the drops. Perhaps none more glaring than the pair of potential scores he could not corral in Waco.
Jackson shot down any proposed excuses for the lapses, especially his position switch from tight end to inside receiver upon arriving in Stillwater. He noted that at Scottsdale, he was often used in the same way as he is at OSU — lining up standing upright and running routes in the slot.