STILLWATER — Alshon Jeffery. Ryan Broyles. A.J. Green.
Move over, make room for Justin Blackmon.
The Oklahoma State receiver has earned himself a spot among the nation's top receivers with consistent production in the Cowboys' first five games. Blackmon is the NCAA leader in scoring, receptions per game, receiving yards per game and touchdown receptions.
On more than one occasion this season, OSU offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen has been blunt and honest in his praise of the Pokes' top receiver during post game interviews.
"He knows he's the best player on the field," Holgorsen has said.
Opposing coaches are just as quick with their praise:
"The guy will be playing in the NFL shortly," Louisiana-Lafayette coach Rickey Bustle said after Blackmon torched his squad for 13 catches, 190 yards and two touchdowns. "He's a good player who took some balls away and made some plays."
Tulsa coach Todd Graham said: "Blackmon was unstoppable. We tried every way we could to stop him and he was unstoppable."
His outstanding performances in back-to-back nationally televised games against Texas A&M (10 catches, 127 yards, 1 TD) and Louisiana-Lafayette should immediately make him a potential Biletnikoff Award candidate.
Teammate Dan Bailey is another Cowboy that could be in line for a postseason award.
Bailey has been exceptional and, like Blackmon, is coming off back-to-back quality performances on national television.
The senior kicker from Mustang was clutch on Sept. 30 with his game-winning, 40-yard field goal against Texas A&M. He followed his game winner with four field goals against Louisiana-Lafayette. Those games should toss him into the discussion when the Lou Groza Award finalists are selected.
"Dan was the difference in the game tonight," coach Mike Gundy said after the Pokes' 54-28 win on Friday. "Because even when they held us, he was able to keep momentum on our side. In the third quarter, when we were debating going for it, he hits a 52-yarder which took the wind out of their sails.
"He's been really good for us."
Bailey is 11 of 11 on field goals, including two 52-yarders on Friday, and 32 of 32 on points after touchdown. He's perfect on PATs during his career, hitting 163 of 163.
Special teams coach Joe DeForest, who has coached Groza Award semifinalist Luke Phillips and 2008 Ray Guy award winner Matt Fodge during his career, says Bailey's consistency and production comes from his work ethic.
"He works his tail off," DeForest said. "More than any other kicker I've ever had."
Orlando here we come!
Oklahoma State has several players who could be in line for postseason honors this season, earning a trip to Orlando, Fla. for the ESPN College Football Awards show. Here's a look at some of the Cowboys' potential award winners:
Quarterback Brandon Weeden. Ranks fourth nationally in passing yards per game. The junior is 131 of 190 for 1,610 yards, 18 touchdowns and six interceptions. Weeden could earn consideration for various honors including the Davey O'Brien Award.
Running back Kendall Hunter. Ranks fifth nationally in rushing yards per game, 11th nationally in scoring and 13th in all-purpose yards. He has 110 carries for 700 yards (6.4 avg.) and nine touchdowns. The senior was a member of the preseason watch lists for the Doak Walker (top running back) and Maxwell (best player) Awards.
Defensive end Ugo Chinasa: A preseason Lombardi Award watch list member, Chinasa has already earned Big 12 player of the week honors with his dominating performance against Texas A&M.
Linebacker Orie Lemon. Leads OSU in tackles with 45, including 4.5 tackles for loss. If Lemon has big games against Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska, he could emerge as a Butkus Award candidate.
Punter/kickoff specialist Quinn Sharp. His kickoffs have been so outstanding that his punting has gone overlooked. He ranks ninth nationally with a 45.8 yard per punt average and helps the Cowboys rank ninth nationally in net punting at 40.9 net yards per punt. Those averages put Sharp atop the Big 12 in both categories which should earn him Ray Guy Award consideration.