With experience comes expectations. Blackmon has gone from a guy OSU would like to see make plays to a guy the Cowboys will need to make plays in order to succeed.
"He's one of those players who will have a chance to build on his experience," OSU coach Mike Gundy said. "He's making plays out there and he's testing out well. He needs to catch 50 passes (this season)."
So the opportunity is there. It's up to Blackmon to seize it.
What separated Bryant from other receivers in college football over the past few seasons was his undeniable pursuit of the football. When the ball was in the air, it was Dez's ball. Period.
"He was really good at that," Blackmon said. "When the ball is in the air, it was his and only his."
His teammates and coaches believe Blackmon has the talent, now he has to inherit that competitive fire and impose his will on defensive backs just like Bryant did.
"That's what you should have," Blackmon said. "That's what any football player should have, just knowing you can make the play.
"When the ball's in the air, you have to tell yourself you're that No. 1 (guy) and make the play."