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Sunday Letters – Justin Blackmon

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Dear Justin,

First of all you should know, I won’t blame you if you go. I would go. 99.999999% of Americans would go and they’re lying if they say they wouldn’t. College is fun and it’s a necessary signpost in the journey to professional millions but…well…it’s just college.

You should know that of the five receivers who have ever gained more yards than you in a single season in the history of college football (yes there were only five) four were seniors and the other (Crabtree) left for the NFL. So that would technically make you the most decorated receiver (for a single season) to ever come back to college. That would mean a lot to the program, we might have to change the name from “Tailback U” to “Tailback (and working on wideout) U.”

NOTE: When I was researching your numbers I started measuring your 2010 season against some record-setting careers on NCAA.com. That’s absurd.

Right now, as I’m sure you’re aware, Mel Kiper has you at #13 on his draft board. I don’t really know what that means or if MKJ even knows what he’s talking about but since it’s the most common point of reference out there let’s go with it. Last year the #13 pick was a guy named Brandon Graham who played defensive end at Michigan. According to the Philadelphia Enquirer he was compensated to the tune of a $22 million contract with $14 million of that guaranteed. That’s more money than I will accumulate in my entire life. And the only thing you have to do to get it is say “I’m leaving.”

Two words, that’s it, and the entirety of your family tree from this point forward for generations to come will be altered. It’s a little mind-blowing when you think about it. Oh I know, as you’ve come to learn over the last few weeks, that the NFL is in the middle of a Hatfield and McCoy-level feud between its owners and its players. Despite that though, you will be paid, and you will be paid handsomely with guaranteed cash. It doesn’t take THAT many millions for a family tree to be altered.

So, no, I will never hold it against you (or anyone else) for jumping ship and leaving Stillwater for untold glories and riches usually reserved for kings and princes of small third-world countries. How could I? If Sports Illustrated told me to leave my self-made post as editor of this blog I hand-created to become a college football writer for them and that I would be paid 220x (your potential salary divided by your scholarship money) what I make right now (which is nothing so I’m not sure how that would work), I would do it faster than Gundy can say “what am I going to do with Michael Harrison and two short white dudes at receiver next year?

Heck, I’m the guy clamoring that you be paid for helping provide Mr. Pickens a good return on his $400 million investment in the form of jersey sales, ticket consumption, and a generally frenetic level of excitement surrounding Stillwater. But that’s another post for another time that not many people will agree with.

I hope we’re clear though, you go, I cheer for you…even if you’re running 35-yard crossing patterns with Calvin Johnson in Michigan while Matthew Stafford is getting one of his shoulders crushed again.

Yesterday Joe Schad, a college football reporter from ESPN tweeted that you were “leaning towards staying in school.” I don’t give a ton of credence to this considering he’s the same guy who mangled the “Texas to the Pac-whateveritisnow” story this summer. But I’m hopeful nonetheless.

Know that if you leave you’ve done OSU right. You dominated the Big XII like very few in its history have done. You hold two NCAA records and three more OSU ones. You did everything the coaching staff asked of you and showed up big in the biggest games. You owned Prince Amukamara and everybody else who feigned the ability to cover you on any level. You dragged your leg around the field like a man for Bedlam and the defense came within one play of giving you a shot at the game-winner. That would have been historic. Nobody would have even cared if you ever suited up again.

Most importantly though, you were a man about your mistakes. We’re pretty used to our star wideouts doing questionable things in which they were punished by the NCAA around here so when I got an email from my dad the Tuesday before the K-State game that said “Blackmon arrested. What’s up?” it was refreshing to see your comments:

I did it and I should be punished for it. I’m just going to take my punishment like I should.

Thank you for being a good example of hard work and personal responsibility to all future OSU football-playing kids. There was a point in the game down in Austin this year when I could have sworn 2004 TO swiped your uniform and was jogging out to take passes from Weeden. You were all swagger, arms swinging back and forth like a perfectly weighted pendulum, chest puffed to the sky as if to say “this is the new OSU and we’re going to be here for a while.” Thanks for looking like TO but not acting like him.

I know you might not be here much longer. Like I said earlier, it’s cool if you jump, no hard feelings. Just know though, that if you come back you can have history. You will most certainly break into the top 10 of the Big XII career receiving records for yards and touchdowns. You have an outside shot at #3 on both lists, and you’d still have your senior season left to play. Unfortunately, you wouldn’t really have a shot at all of Rashaun’s school records (293, 4,414, and 42) but hey there’s always that senior year!

Most importantly, you’d get another shot at OU. At home too because of the goofy schedule next year. OSU would most certainly be ranked in the top 15 to open the season and with a few breaks at College Station, Austin, and Columbia you could have the national stage on Thanksgiving again, hopefully this time on a healthy leg.

If you leave right now, you’ll be considered one of the all-time OSU greats and probably remembered for having the most overachieving single season in college football history. It’ll be great, you can come back for homecoming and will surely represent the school well in your professional endeavors. If you come back though…

If you come back and you and Weeden and the young guys can deliver a Big XII title against OU at home in the freezing cold next November then you can forget everything I just said because you will be lauded by the Oklahoma State faithful as the one who slayed the would-be Big XII dynasty. If you come back for a repeat of this year then you have a shot to attain what us writers and bloggers and fans will never understand: you’ll have a chance to taste college football immortality.

Good luck with your decision,
Pistols Guy

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