OSU's new top WR Dez Bryant is stepping into the spotlight

By Andrea Cohen Published: August 24, 2008
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Dez Bryant was a dazzling surprise for Oklahoma State fans last season. As a true freshman, the wide receiver from Lufkin, Texas, didn't have any expectations on his back — senior Adarius Bowman was shouldering those.

So for the most part, Bryant and his outrageous athleticism were free to punish opponents whose best corner was often covering Bowman. Bryant didn't have the best grasp on the offense, coach Mike Gundy often said, but he could make due because he's fast, jump high and bring in tough passes. Bryant finished as the team's second-leading receiver with 43 catches for 622 yards.

"What we told him in preseason is that he's going to be a full-time player,” co-offensive coordinator Gunter Brewer said. "It's almost like he had a part-time job last year where he could come in and out and learn the offense. Now he's learning it more and he's the full-time guy.”

So starting against Washington State, Bryant will step into the job of being OSU's top receiver. It's a job he's qualified for — when Bowman was injured last season, Bryant stepped into the spotlight, and he finished the season with an impressive outing at the Insight Bowl, pulling down nine catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns.

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Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant had nine catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns in the Insight Bowl last season. by MATT STRASEN, THE OKLAHOMAN

On Dez Bryant

"Make big plays. My boy makes big plays. That's his role.”

— Receiver Jeremy Broadway (on Dez Bryant)

"Obviously he's not the finished product, but he does some really scary things in one on ones and some practice stuff that you see and catches he makes. He's so physical and he can really hang in the air for a long time and make some alley-oop type catches and you saw some of that last year.”

— OSU co-offensive coordinator Gunter Brewer (on Bryant)

How I do what I do
Dez Bryant explains the dirty part of playing wide receiver:

"I like the blocking. It's way different. It's a lot faster. Right now I'm catching on to it, I'm getting a lot better at it. I watched (Adarius Bowman block) a lot. When I first seen it I was like, man. I'm talking about he was bulldozing people. He's the best blocker I ever seen to be honest.

"When I see the ball I just feel like I have to get it. I be anxious. I feel like it's a one-time thing, like it might never come around again.

"I can jump pretty high coming off one foot. Since I was in seventh grade I could jump. It's always been there.

"God blessed me to have big hands. They're pretty big. I haven't measured them. If they're not bigger (than offensive lineman Russell Okung's hands) they're about the same size.”

By Andrea Cohen

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