STILLWATER — Oklahoma State fans have been spoiled for the past 2 seasons thanks to former Cowboy Dez Bryant.
The Dallas Cowboys' first-round pick made the receiver position look easy with his unique athletic ability, passion and competitive nature. OSU fans — not to mention former quarterback Zac Robinson — knew all the Cowboys had to do was throw the ball up to Bryant and something good would happen.
This year, unlike last year when OSU lost Bryant during the season, the Cowboys begin practice knowing they need someone to step into that role.
Sophomore receiver Justin Blackmon wants to be the guy.
"I feel like I have the opportunity to do that in this new offense," Blackmon said of the No. 1 receiver role.
Blackmon has the talent. He was a three-sport star at Plainview High School and finished with 20 catches for 260 yards and two touchdowns as a freshman.
"He's a freak," quarterback Brandon Weeden said. "He's a specimen, he runs good routes, has good hands. We're getting on the same page, he sees things pretty quick, which is good in this offense. I'm glad he's on my side."
Offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen had similar praise.
"He's pretty special with the ball in his hands," Holgorsen said.
After being asked to take on a bigger role in 2009 after Bryant's suspension, Blackmon returns with more experience in 2010.