Blackmon Relaxing As Decision Day Nears

As I was finishing my radio show Thursday at Buffalo Wild Wings in Stillwater the bartender asked me a question. She said, "You've been talking a lot about Justin Blackmon. Why don't you just get him to come on the radio with you?" she asked as she pointed at a table full of folks in the dining room. Seated with a ecclectic group of Oklahoma State students was the one and only, Justin Blackmon.

The show was over, but after I had packed up the equipment I made my way into the dining area to be friendly, and yes, I'm curious as much as you are.

I came in and stood next to Justin who was chowing down as I had on some really good looking boneless wings. My guess would be regular Buffalo or maybe wild sauce. I said hello, and Justin said hey back.

He inquired if I was going to ask him to be on the radio and I said, no, I wouldn't do that to him. He needed some time off, time to kick back. I actually said I was surprised to see him in Stillwater as a I thought he might try to get away.

"No, I came back here the day after the game," he said. "This is a good place to hide right now. It's a ghost town."

That figures with class out of session. It will change soon. When I asked about his dad, he confirmed that his dad had come into Stillwater on Tuesday. That is the day I learned they had met with Mike Gundy.

Blackmon is truly a guy who gets it. Football is important to him, but he realizes there are other things. He is so close to Olivia Hamilton, the 8-year-old cancer patient that is his biggest fan. He is friends with so many different students at OSU, not just athletes,

Blackmon is a well-rounded person. He understands there is more to life than football. Of course, right now, he is bigger than life to Cowboy fans with his All-American status, Biletnikoff Award, season-record 111 receptions for 1,782 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Blackmon admitted after I kind of advised, that he hadn't listened to radio and wasn't making a habit of reading OSU websites on the internet.

"Are people really that wigged out?" he asked.

I told him, "C'mon, you know how fans are that curious. Heck, I;m curious too. I have to admit it."

At that point he was looking at the screen behind me and he said, "Is that true?" He was talking about the full screen graphic on ESPN proclaiming that Stanford quarterback and projected No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Luck had announced he was returning to Stanford for his senior season.

"That surprises me," said Blackmon. "Do you think the Missouri quarterback (Blaine Gabbert) will go first now?"

I said, he might. Then Blackmon asked me what I would do and I told him that was not my place. I admitted I would be selfish and tell him to stay but that he had earned the right to make that decision. It was his decision.

I told him that I believed what I had heard from MIke Gundy and something I had heard from Peyton Manning when he stayed for his senior season at Tennessee. It is not about the money or about the draft status. It is not about anything other than how you feel about the college football experience. You see once you walk away from it, you can't get it back.

I said if the NFL is really what you want then you need to go, but if you enjoy playing college football then you stay and go to the NFL later. One of Justin's friends across the table, wearing an Alamo Bowl-OSU NIke pullover nodded and said yeah.

I asked Justin when he thought he would have his decision and he said he hoped soon. I have to admit he did look relaxed and didn't look like he was adding wrinkle lines to his brow. But then again, he is too young to have wrinkle lines from worrying. I think Justin may already know what he is going to do, and soon he will share it.

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