SAN ANTONIO â€” Michael Harrison looks at Justin Blackmon and dreams about the possibilities. Blackmon had a breakout sophomore season for Oklahoma State, winning the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver while helping the Cowboys to a 10-2 record.
â€œI look up to Justin,â€ said Harrison, a redshirt freshman receiver from Atlanta, Texas. â€œI see what he does and I'm like â€˜Yeah, (I should do that).'â€
Heading into OSU's Alamo Bowl game against Arizona Wednesday, Harrison appears to be on a similar path to prominence.
Both receivers redshirted during their first year on campus but opened eyes with their talent. Blackmon stood out among redshirting freshmen in 2008, and Harrison was so impressive in 2009 that only nagging injuries kept him from playing his way out of redshirt season.
Blackmon showed signs of his game-breaking ability as a redshirt freshman, making clutch catches against Texas A&M and Colorado. Harrison is doing the same during his redshirt freshman campaign, making a key touchdown catch in OSU's road win at Kansas State when Blackmon was suspended for one game.
And now, he's starting to resemble Blackmon in another way: With his focus, commitment and desire.
â€œMike is starting to mature a little bit,â€ coach Mike Gundy said. â€œPlaying football at this level is so different from playing any other sport. It's a very demanding sport year-round, and you have to get in the right frame of mind. It takes a big commitment, and I think he's learning that.â€
His talent is unquestioned. At 6-foot-1, 211 pounds, Harrison brings a unique combination of size, speed and athleticism.