Oklahoma State University football star Justin Blackmon doesn’t worry about the past and doesn’t spend too much time thinking about what the future might hold, either.
For a 21-year-old athlete who has the world by the tail, that’s not easy to do. But Blackmon says he takes one day at a time and doesn’t get overwhelmed at what “might happen” in his future.
“I just do my work, practice hard, make sure I pass all my classes and take whatever comes,” says the Ardmore native. “People keep saying this is going to happen, or I might win this award, or I’ll be a superstar in the NFL someday. But I can’t get caught up in any of that, and none of that talk about what might happen really matters – until it happens.”
The 2010 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, the red-shirt junior was also honored with the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top wide receiver. He currently holds the NCAA record for the most consecutive games gaining 100 yards or more receiving (he had 100 yards in all 12 games the Cowboys played in 2010). He was the first wide receiver ever to be honored as the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year.
As a final jewel in his 2010 crown, Blackmon was named to the College Football All-America team. That’s a bevvy of accomplishments for someone who’s just a third-year sophomore, with two more years of eligibility.
“People are always asking if last year was as good as it could get,” Blackmon says. “And it was good. But it wasn’t great because we didn’t win the Big 12 championship and we didn’t play for a national title.
“If we had won those and my stats had been what they were, then it would have been a great year,” he adds. “But I felt there were a lot of things unfinished last year, and I want to work hard to help change that this next season.”
Although it’s hard to overlook his 1,600 yards receiving and 18 touchdowns during the regular season last year, Blackmon says all those things are “in the past.” He talks about his accomplishments and his abilities humbly and answers every question thrown at him with courtesy and patience.
“I’ve been blessed so much,” he says, referring to his record-setting season in 2010 and the football career he’s enjoyed so far. “We’ve got an incredible team, and we’ve got who I think is the best quarterback in the country in Brandon Weeden.
“If it wasn’t for my teammates and a quarterback like Brandon, I wouldn’t have caught a single ball last year. All the awards and recognition are nice, but it’s not a one-man game, and our coaches remind us of that all the time.”
Highly recruited out of Plainview High School, Blackmon could have gone just about anywhere to play football. He says he chose Oklahoma State for a number of reasons.
“The people here were great to me when I made my visit,” he says. “And I loved the coaches and it’s in state, so that means my family and friends can be at all the games.
“The fact that they had a high-powered offense and threw the ball all over the field didn’t hurt any, either,” he adds, and laughs.
Proud to be playing football in his home state, Blackmon says he loves to be on the football field and know that he’s got family and friends in the stands cheering him on. Despite the incredible success he and the Cowboys enjoyed in 2010, Blackmon came back to Stillwater this summer to work out even harder in preparation for the upcoming season.
Even though most experts agree that Blackmon has a tremendous NFL career ahead of him, the 21-year-old is not in a hurry to play on Sundays.
“If that happens, it would be great,” Blackmon says. “I won’t lie to you. But there are an awful lot of things that I have to take care of one at a time before that ever gets here – if it ever gets here.
“I’d love to play professional football, and I think I could compete and it would be a great challenge and a tremendous opportunity. But I’ve got a lot of unfinished business at Oklahoma State, and that’s the focus of all my attention right now.”