STILLWATER â€” Justin Blackmon already has his two signature Heisman plays.
The Oklahoma State receiver's touchdown catches against Texas cornerback Aaron Williams and Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara â€” both preseason All-Big 12 defenders â€” showed the one-on-one dominance that has become Blackmon's trademark in 2010.
The sophomore is averaging 9.33 receptions and 158.89 yards per game as he has recorded 84 catches for 1,430 yards and 16 touchdowns.
â€œIt's pretty amazing what he's done per game,â€ coach Mike Gundy said.
Simply put, he has been as dominant as a receiver can be. Yet, he doesn't rank among the top three candidates in the Heisman race.
Does being a receiver eliminate you from the Heisman race before the season even begins in the current college football landscape?
â€œWideouts don't get much notice in that race,â€ Gundy said. â€œIt's difficult for a wideout to win it.â€
A receiver has not won the Heisman since Michigan's Desmond Howard in 1991. And Tim Brown is the only other receiver to win the award since 1949. Both players were receivers and kick returners.
â€œWith the Heisman, you're talking the best player in the country, it's pretty prestigious,â€ offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen said. â€œBut all I can say is this: Every time he's on the field, he's the best player.â€
Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton â€” the unquestioned Heisman favorite â€” could be taken out of contention by the firestorm surrounding his recruitment. If that happens, there's no better candidate than Blackmon.