Imagine Justin Blackmon and Ryan Broyles, both potential 2010 All-Americans and Biletnikoff Award semifinalists, alongside each other in the same offensive attack.
Oklahoma State wanted that to happen.
Oklahoma was not as convinced.
Quality evaluation has become a staple of Oklahoma State's football program under coach Mike Gundy. And it is not more apparent than the recruitment of OU's Broyles, who has unleashed an assault on the Sooners record book since 2008, and OSU's Blackmon, who is in the midst of rewriting the Cowboys' single-season record book in 2010.
Clearly the Cowboys saw something special in the duo while the Sooners, who didn't offer Blackmon and only offered Broyles late in the recruiting process, weren't sure how good either player would become.
Gundy said Blackmon earned an offer and peaked the Pokes' interest due to his combination of height and body control along with his potential to put on pounds and develop into a big target. Broyles, meanwhile, said in July 2006, the summer before his senior year, that the Cowboys were recruiting him the hardest. It was a sign that OSU recognized his potential early in the recruiting process.
OU strongly considered Blackmon but eventually decided not to offer the Plainview standout. Broyles watched first-hand as a senior at Norman High as OU offered multiple local prospects, including Jontae Bumpus of Muskogee and Heritage Hall kicker Jimmy Stevens, before finally offering Broyles shortly after he orally committed to the Cowboys in January 2007.
Broyles, who sits atop OU's career receptions list, eventually signed with the Sooners on signing day.
Two likely Biletnikoff finalists
Justin Blackmon and Ryan Broyles are expected to be two of the three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award, which is given each year to the nation's top wide receiver.
A list of 10 semifinalists will be trimmed to three today. Other top candidates include: A.J. Green (Georgia), Julio Jones (Alabama), Alshon Jeffery (South Carolina) and Jeff Fuller (Texas A&M).
Billy Hilaman, chairman of the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation that oversees the award, said 160 sportswriters, broadcasters and former Biletnikoff winners are eligible to vote. No one on the committee votes. Off-the-field issues is not a criteria.
â€œBlackmon having a good game against Texas and Broyles breaking those records certainly helped them,â€ Hilaman said. â€œThe Big 12 has always done well in the voting. Dez (Bryant) would have had a good shot at it last year if hadn't have gotten suspended.â€
After the list is trimmed to three finalists, voters will determine the Biletnikoff winner. The winner will be announced Dec. 9 on the Home Depot ESPNU college football awards show.
Previous Biletnikoff winners
2009 â€” Golden Tate, Notre Dame
2008 â€” Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech
2007 â€” Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech
2006 â€” Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech
2005 â€” Mike Haas, Oregon State
2004 â€” Braylon Edwards, Michigan
2003 â€” Larry Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh
2002 â€” Charles Rogers, Michigan St.
2001 â€” Josh Reed, LSU
2000 â€” Antonio Bryant, Pittsburgh
1999 â€” Troy Walters, Stanford
1998 â€” Troy Edwards, Louisiana Tech
1997 â€” Randy Moss, Marshall
1996 â€” Marcus Harris, Wyoming
1995 â€” Terry Glenn, Ohio State
1994 â€” Bobby Engram, Penn State
TALE OF THE TAPE
Yards per game
Yards per catch