STILLWATER â€” Justin Blackmon has a decision to make.
As a redshirt sophomore, the Oklahoma State receiver is eligible to declare for the 2010 NFL Draft. And with his unparalleled production this season, a return to Stillwater is far from a certainty.
But Blackmon insists he hasn't been thinking that far ahead.
â€œI haven't thought about it at all,â€ Blackmon said Monday. â€œThat's something I haven't looked forward to. Right now, I'm just focused on this Alamo Bowl.â€
Well, he'd better start thinking about it soon. After the Cowboys face Arizona in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29, Blackmon could have just a couple of weeks to decide. No official date to declare for the 2011 NFL Draft has been set, but it was Jan. 15 last year.
The Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year is ranked No. 13 overall on Mel Kiper's Big Board. The ESPN NFL Draft expert called Blackmon â€œimpossible to keep coveredâ€ while ranking him as the third-ranked receiver prospect behind Georgia's A.J. Green and Alabama's Julio Jones.
Blackmon finished the regular season with 102 receptions for 1,665 yards and 18 touchdowns and averaged 9.3 catches and 151.4 yards per game. That type of production combined with Kiper's ranking makes it understandable if Blackmon decides to forgo his final two seasons of eligibility with the Cowboys.
â€œHe has to do what's best for him,â€ quarterback Brandon Weeden said. â€œBut I want him back ... from a selfish standpoint.â€
One development on the Cowboys side is the potential for an NFL work stoppage. The NFL Players Association has advised its players to save money in case there is no 2011 season. A lengthy lockout would be fine for current NFL players â€” who could have been saving for this situation â€” but a potential disaster for Blackmon if he were to leave early then have nowhere to play in 2011. And no NFL money either.