Justin Blackmon deserves to be a Heisman Trophy finalist and he deserves serious consideration for the award. The Oklahoma State wide receiver is having a season to remember. Most of us probably don’t remember anyone having a season like this in a long time. At his current pace, which he’s given us no reason to believe he won’t maintain, he will easily surpass Michael Crabtree’s amazing season that we saw a few short years ago.
Blackmon is currently 500 yards off of the NCAA single season record. If OSU beats the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday and plays in the Big 12 Championship, Blackmon has a serious chance to have the best single season by a wide receiver in the history of NCAA football.
To surpass Trevor Insley, the current record holder who caught for 2,060 yards for Nevada in 1999, Blackmon is going to need OSU to win this weekend and he’ll need to average 166 yards per game over his last three games. That seems like a lot, but Blackmon is currently averaging 156 yards per game, nearly 30 yards more per game than the closest receiver. He has had four games this season with over 166 yards and his lowest output was 125 yards early in the season.
One thing that is hurting Blackmon is his off-the-field mishap a few weeks ago. After receiving a DUI, Blackmon had to sit out a game and that probably cost him the record. If he would have played in that game, maintaining his current average would propel him well over the previous record by Insley.
Blackmon is just 112 yards off of Larry Fitzgerald’s sophomore receiving record, and he’s one game away from tying a couple more NCAA records. He has caught for 100 yards and a touchdown in 10 consecutive games. The record for both is 11.
The Heisman Trophy typically goes to the top player in the nation, as long as his team has a solid record and ranking. Oklahoma State is 10-1 and ranked No. 9 nationally. What more do Blackmon and the team have to do for him to be seriously considered for the Heisman Trophy?
Some people have Blackmon ranked fourth in the Heisman race, and that is fair considering the contestants ahead of him. The problem is the lack of attention that Blackmon gets nationally. Sure, you hear his name mentioned from time to time, but there’s really no serious talk of him actually winning the award. Maybe it’s because of his DUI arrest and the high standards that the Heisman Trophy Trust has.
The point I’m trying to make is that it is unfair that wide receivers cannot get serious attention for the Heisman Trophy. Tim Brown was the first wide receiver to win the award, and his stats from that year couldn’t touch Blackmon’s this season. Brown returned kicks and received 34 carries that season and had 1,847 all-purpose yards and seven total touchdowns. Maybe the competition was low that season.
There are some very deserving candidates being mentioned this season, but not one of them is having a season like Blackmon. The past should be a ruler for judging what's exceptional and what’s not. Other quarterbacks have done what Kellen Moore is doing and many running backs have done what LaMichael James is doing. Cameron Newton is the only other top three player who is having an eye-popping season.
Let’s start looking at more positions than quarterback and running back for the Heisman Trophy. We may not see another season like Blackmon’s for a long time (unless he does it again next year). He deserves credit and he deserves the respect of the voters.
Blackmon is currently first among receivers in total yards, yards per game and touchdown receptions. He is second in receptions per game and third among all players in scoring. The only two players who have scored more points than him are kickers, one being Oklahoma State kicker Dan Bailey.
If you haven’t watched Blackmon, make sure you catch a game. OSU’s remaining games will all be nationally televised. He is a one of a kind player that we haven’t seen in a long time, if ever. The top corners in the nation have tried to contain him and the best anyone could do was 125 yards (three TDs) in the first game of the year. Game plans can’t stop the kid.
Give him some respect and let’s consider a wide receiver for the Heisman Trophy. The award means nothing if we can’t look at every position on the field and use the past to judge how exceptional a player’s body of work actually is.