Consistency earns rewards.
And in this case, prestigious national awards.
Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver, and Dan Bailey won the Lou Groza Award as the nation's top kicker during the ESPN College Football Awards in Orlando, Fla. on Thursday night.
Recording one of the most consistent seasons by a receiver in recent memory, Blackmon had 102 receptions for 1,665 yards and 18 touchdowns in 11 games. He tied the NCAA record for most consecutive games with at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown catch (11).
Blackmon, a sophomore, had just 20 catches for 260 yards and two touchdowns as a redshirt freshman. He exploded on the scene this season, earning Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, numerous All-American honors and the Biletnikoff Award.
â€œI just came out of nowhere, I guess,â€ Blackmon told ESPN's Chris Fowler. â€œI worked hard in the offseason and wanted to be that go-to guy this year.â€
Blackmon is the first Cowboy to receive the Biletnikoff Award and the second finalist in the past three years. He joins former OSU receiver Dez Bryant, who was a finalist in 2008.
Not to be outdone, Bailey became the first Cowboys kicker in school history to receive the Lou Groza Award.
Bailey, who will finish his career as OSU's all-time leading scorer, was 24 of 28 on field goal attempts and 65 of 66 on extra-point attempts. He was 8 of 10 on field goal attempts from 40 yards or more this season. He had two 52-yard field goals at Louisiana-Lafayette.
The senior from Mustang finished third nationally in field goals made (two per game) and second nationally in points scored (11.42 points per game) as he earned Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year.
Bailey, the most consistent kicker on OSU history, only missed one extra point during his four-year career â€” Nov. 13 when Texas blocked one an attempt during the Cowboys' 33-16 win. He is 196 of 197 on career extra-point attempts heading into the Alamo Bowl.
Jokingly asked by ESPN's Chris Fowler if he had confronted his teammate who caused the blocked extra point, Bailey took the blame.
â€œI don't want to be â€˜that guy,'â€ he said. â€œIt's just one of those things. You have to forget about it.â€
OSU running back Kendall Hunter joined his OSU teammates in Orlando as a finalist for the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation's top running back. Oregon's LaMichael James, a Heisman finalist, took home the hardware. Hunter led the Big 12 with 1,516 rushing yards as he averaged 126.3 yards per game.
All three were key contributors on an OSU squad that finished 10-2 and earned a share of the Big 12 South title.
OU receiver Ryan Broyles joined the Cowboy trio in Orlando as a finalist for the Biletnikoff after a brilliant season. The junior had 118 receptions for 1,452 yards and 13 touchdowns as he helped the Sooners to an 11-2 record and Big 12 championship.