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Blackmon leads the way for 2008 class

by John Helsley Published: May 11, 2011
Justin Blackmon has become one of the nation's best.
Justin Blackmon has become one of the nation's best.

by Brandon Chatmon
bchatmon@opubco.com
Follow me on Twitter @BChatmon

One of the main reasons for Oklahoma State’s recent rise has been quality evaluation on the recruiting trail. Running back Kendall Hunter, a two-time All-American, was a hidden gem out of Tyler, Texas and 2010 Biletnikoff Award winner Justin Blackmon was an overlooked prospect out of Plainview High School in Ardmore.

I decided to review recent OSU recruiting classes because it gives you a better feel for where the players you will see making plays on Saturdays this fall came from. And it makes it easier to understand recruiting is a full of unknowns so assuming an elite recruit will become an elite playmaker is fool’s gold, especially once you get past the players who are simply freaks of nature with sheer physical ability which is unmatched.

Here’s a look back at OSU’s recruiting Class of 2008 with a detailed look at each recruit, their ranking when they arrived on campus and their production or potential in the three years since joining the program. (I’ll break the class into several different blogs in the next few days)

Overall class rankings

Rivals ranking: #26

Scout ranking: #40

ESPN.com ranking: unranked. Given a C in overall grades in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, Colorado, Texas A&M and Missouri.

Recruits

Isaiah Anderson, receiver

Rivals ranking: 2 stars

Scout ranking: 2 stars

Other offers: Nebraska, New Mexico

Impact on the program: One of the fastest players on the team, Anderson shows flashes of that speed and playmaking ability at times but has yet to become a consistent playmaker in games heading into his junior season.

Analysis: Consistency is the key for Anderson. He showed his ability to test defenses and get deep a couple of times last fall including a couple deep balls against Kansas State. He had 12 catches for 216 yards (18 ypc) last season. He has the potential to make a difference.

 

Lucien Antoine, safety

Rivals ranking: 3 stars

Scout ranking: 3 stars

Other offers: interest from Arkansas, Ole Miss and Louisville

Impact on the program: Injuries curtailed his junior season but Antoine was a core member of OSU’s run to the Cotton Bowl in 2009. He set the tone for the Pokes’ defense with his hard hitting nature and unyielding pursuit to the football.

Analysis: OSU only got one season from Antoine but he was well worth it. He helped OSU’s defense improve tremendously in 2009.

 

Cooper Bassett, defensive end

Rivals ranking: 3 stars

Scout ranking: 3 stars

Other offers: Kansas, Kansas State, New Mexico

Impact on the program: Originally recruited as a tight end and he played offense as a redshirt freshman in 2009. He moved to the defensive side of the ball last season and has become an rotation player for the Pokes.

Analysis: Bassett is a solid player who works hard to get the most out of his talent. Good roster depth is built with players like him. He should play a role on OSU’s defense in 2011.

 

Justin Blackmon, receiver

Rivals ranking: 3 stars

Scout ranking: 3 stars

Other offers: Colorado, Kansas State, Missouri, Tulsa and Northern Iowa.

Impact on the program: Really? Do I need to say anything? I’m not going to say a word…

Analysis: Won the Biletnikoff Award during his third year on campus and ranks as one of the top receivers in OSU history. His game-by-game consistency in 2010 is unheard of. One of college football best players regardless of position.

 

Donald Booker, linebacker

Rivals ranking: 3 stars

Scout ranking: 3 stars

Other offers: New Mexico, New Mexico State and Tulsa.

Impact on the program: After Orie Lemon was injured before the 2009 season, Booker stepped in and led the Cowboys in tackles (99). Athletic and tough, he joined Antoine as anchors of OSU’s solid defense in 2009.

Analysis: Most people probably overlooked Booker because he didn’t have the ideal size (5-11, 236) for a middle linebacker but he was a playmaker who played with zero regard for his body. Coach Mike Gundy often pointed to Booker’s love of the game as a reason for OSU’s success in 2009 despite all the distractions that season.

 

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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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