PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. — Justin Blackmon was still being asked last week if he would for sure forgo his senior season and declare for the 2012 NFL Draft. And Blackmon still would not give a definitive answer, saying he will make that announcement after the Fiesta Bowl.
“It's not official,” Blackmon said with a smile. “But hopefully I'll make a decision after this game.”
OSU, of course, would welcome Blackmon back. But all signs — being honored on Senior Day, his and OSU coach Mike Gundy's comments throughout the season — point to the No. 3 Cowboys' showdown with No. 4 Stanford being Blackmon's final game in an OSU uniform.
That means the time is right to ask this question: is Blackmon the greatest receiver in OSU history?
Gundy already has an answer.
“(Blackmon's) going to leave here as the best player,” he said on Doug Gottlieb's radio show earlier this month. And the coach has said some form of that statement several times this season.
Gundy is a good judge, since he was the one tossing Hart Lee Dykes the football when he was OSU's quarterback during the mid-80s and later coached Dez Bryant and Rashaun Woods.
All four receivers had accomplished careers — or are still having an accomplished career, in Blackmon's case. But here's how their credentials stack up:
Hart Lee Dykes, 1985-88
Dykes was a three-time All-Big Eight selection and an All-American in 1988. He ranks third all-time in school history in catches (203), receiving yards (3,171) and touchdowns (29) in an offense that had Barry Sanders and Thurman Thomas in the backfield.
Rashaun Woods, 2000-03
Woods ranks first in school history in every major wide receiver category with 293 career receptions, 4,414 yards and 42 touchdowns. He was a two-time All-American and a three-time All-Big 12 selection. And he made arguably the greatest catch in OSU history when he snagged the game-winning touchdown in the Cowboys' 16-13 victory at Oklahoma in 2001.
Dez Bryant, 2007-09
What could have been? After a monster 2008 season, where he tallied 87 receptions, 1,480 yards and 19 touchdowns, was a consensus All-American and finished second in voting for the Biletnikoff Award, Bryant was declared ineligible early in the 2009 season. Still, Bryant ranks fifth in OSU history in career catches (147), receiving yards (2,425) and touchdowns (29).
Justin Blackmon, 2009-11
Blackmon will not top any career lists if he leaves Stillwater after this season, but his back-to-back Biletnikoff Awards show that he's been the most dominant wide receiver in college football the past two seasons while playing in OSU's potent spread offense. His 2010 totals of 111 catches, 1,782 yards and 20 touchdowns all set OSU single-season marks, and he surpassed his own record with 113 catches so far this season. He currently ranks second in school history in catches (244), receiving yards (3,378) and touchdowns (37) and became a two-time unanimous All-American earlier this month.