Cowboys Spring Practice Notebook

STILLWATER – It was no surprise that on the first pass-catching drill of the spring that Justin Blackmon made a dramatic play. Freshman quarterback J.W. Walsh was throwing to Blackmon on a pat-and-go drill, just pitch and catch.

Blackmon was running down the sideline and Walsh threw a ball that looked like it was definitely overthrown, and there was no Chance Blackmon would catch up to it. He did, and then stuck his arm out and with one hand snagged the football, pulled it in and took it in the end zone.

"It is fun and I enjoy it, but it is something I like to do, compete and do the best that I can," said Blackmon. "I think that was a great way to start us off. I was just excited to be out there and running routes."

"The guy is a freak," said Brandon Weeden, the guy that should know. "That is one of those deals that he'll do something everyday to surprise you. I am glad he is on my side and I have him to throw to."

Some things never change.

The Cowboys have received their Big 12 South Championship rings from last season. Weeden said he wore it to an event back home in Oklahoma City last weekend and said a number of people came up and wanted to see it.

"My hands are good size," said Weeden. "It is big on my hands and it really stands out. People notice it."

The ring features the OSU brand logo and has diamonds around it, but it on the background on an even bigger orangeish-colored stone. Around the face of the ring are the words "Big 12 South Champions."

One of the position showdowns in the spring is for the place-kicking chore on field goals and PATs. Quinn Sharp, the Cowboys All-American punter and ace kickoff specialist who missed the Alamo Bowl for academic reasons, is back and competing for that role.

He is battling redshirt freshman walk-on kicker Bobby Stonebreaker out of Tuttle, Okla. The two were perfect in Monday's ladder drill in which they were kicking at different distances and changing hashes. The two kickers were very good. It would appear either way that special teams coordinator Joe DeForest and the Cowboys are a winner on this one.

No. 14 in the green jersey with the quarterbacks is Ryan Howard, a 6-4, 212-pound quarterback with a "live" arm from Perryton, Texas.

Howard is a transfer that has been at several schools and will have one year of eligibility remaining after sitting out this season as a transfer. The interesting note on Howard is that while he was at West Texas A&M in Canyon, Texas, he was coached one year by former Washington State standout and NFL Draft top choice Ryan Leaf. Leaf washed out of the NFL and also washed out of coaching as well when he got in trouble with some charges involving prescription drugs.

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