Blake Jackson might play tight end or slot receiver or who knows what other position in Oklahoma State's offense.
He might catch a couple passes or a dozen of them.
He might have a breakout day or a so-so one.
But regardless of what the highly touted junior college transfer does Saturday during the Cowboys' Spring Finale, this much is certain — just being there is a success story. Jackson, you see, went unrecruited and unsigned out of high school.
For the better part of a year, he was out of football.
No team. No scholarship. No nothing.
“Now,” his juco coach said, “he's at the pinnacle.”
Jackson's journey to Division-I football and OSU is a remarkable one.
It started in Gilbert, Ariz., where Jackson graduated from high school. He was only 16 years old at the time. He started kindergarten early, then remained especially young for his grade.
Add his age to the fact that he was a wide receiver on a high school team that rarely threw the ball, and college recruiters weren't interested.
He started taking college classes, but without having to worry about his football eligibility, his academics suffered. His motivation waned. His grades dropped.
His mom, Natasha, did everything she could to keep him going, but it was a struggle.
Then a buddy who was playing football at Scottsdale Community College in suburban Phoenix told Jackson that he should to come to spring practice. Talk to the coaches. See if they have a spot.
After seeing him, the coaches thought he had potential.
“He was just like a baby, a big lanky kid with broad shoulders and big feet,” Scottsdale offensive coordinator Tommy Ziegler said. “Kind of uncoordinated and not really a great athlete yet.
“He just wasn't quite ready to play.”
And it was a blow to his confidence.
“We almost lost him,” Ziegler said. “I think he seriously thought about not playing.”
Ziegler gave Jackson an option. He could join the team, but he would have to redshirt a year. Nothing after that was promised, yet if Jackson worked hard, developing his body and improving his skill, Ziegler would give him every chance in the world.
Jackson decided to give it a go.
He spent lots of time in the weight room, then did extra work on his own. He was always conditioning or catching passes or doing something that would make him better.
Halfway through Jackson's redshirt freshman season, things clicked. Over the last five games of the season, he caught six or eight passes a game, and by the next season, he was the focus of the offense
“We game-planned to get Blake Jackson the ball,” Ziegler said.
Even though defenses double and sometimes triple covered Jackson, he still had 62 catches, 934 yards and 16 touchdowns in 11 games.
This time, the college recruiters came running.
Football changed Jackson's life.
And now, the changes continue at OSU. Jackson arrived in Stillwater as a tight end, but he's done work this spring at just about every receiver position. Cowboy offensive coordinator Todd Monken has said that Jackson must be a factor, but who knows where?
Jackson has also transformed his body. In three months, he has added nearly 20 pounds to his 6-foot-3 frame and is now playing at around 235 pounds.
Cowboy strength coach Rob Glass says Jackson's physique is Adarius Bowman-like.
“He's not the finished product yet,” Glass said. “We still have a lot of work to do. When people put on weight real quick, it takes a little bit longer for the speed to kick in.”
Adjusting to a new body isn't easy. Neither is learning a new offense.
Jackson has had his ups and downs this spring. There have been stretches when he's struggled, dropping balls, missing routes and learning the hard way that this isn't junior college anymore. But then, he's also had some wow moments, making catches that no one else on the team can make because no one else has his size and athleticism.
“He's a big-bodied guy,” Cowboy quarterback J.W. Walsh said. “He's got really good hands. He's got really good leaping ability. And he's got great ball skills.
“If it's in the general area of him, he's going to catch it.”
The Cowboys have no idea who will be throwing the passes this fall — Walsh? Clint Chelf? Wes Lunt? — but once they figure it out, they're expecting Blake Jackson to catch a bunch of them.
“I think he'll be a really good player for us,” Glass said. “He's just trying to find his way.”
Considering where he's come from, he's already made quite a journey.