Orange Blitz: Blake Webb Makes Big Plays

STILLWATER, Okla. – The last time Blake Webb caught a pass that really mattered was Jan. 1, 2013, when the Oklahoma State receiver caught a 37-yard touchdown pass in the Cowboys' blowout win over Purdue in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. The 5-11, 190-pound receiver showed Saturday afternoon that he is back healthy and ready to be a go-to receiver after missing most of the 2013 season with an injury.

Webb, who redshirted last season after suffering an early season injury, was the leading receiver during the team period of about 42 plays during Saturday's Orange Blitz practice at Boone Pickens Stadium. This year the Cowboys did not have a spring game and instead invited fans to attend a regular practice because of depth issues, head coach Mike Gundy said.

The third-year sophomore from The Woodlands, Texas caught four passes for nearly 130 yards and a touchdown on Saturday in his first appearance in front of Cowboys fans since last September's victory over Lamar.

"It's always great to get out and do game situations, fly around with the guys, and have a little fun playing football," said Webb, who caught a 46-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Mason Rudolph. "It's fun to get back to play football. Sitting out last year was frustrating, and I'm just excited to be back."

The Cowboys quarterbacks were 12 of 20 passes for two touchdowns with one interception during the team portion of the Orange Blitz. First team quarterback J.W. Walsh was 8-for-12, including a touchdown pass of nearly 40 yards to fullback Teddy Johnson coming out of the backfield. Rudolph completed 3 of 6 passes, including the scoring toss to Webb, while walk-on Jake Hubenak was 1 for 2 in only one series. Junior quarterback Daxx Garman did not participate in the Orange Blitz after suffering an injury in Friday's practice.

Although the three quarterbacks shared the wealth when throwing the ball on Saturday it was Webb who led the way with his four catches. Brandon Sheperd was the only other receiver with multiple catches (three). Johnson, Jhajuan Seales, C.J. Curry, Tyreek Hill and Marcell Ateman each caught one pass.

Webb enjoyed himself on Saturday.

"It's fun to play in front of the fans. Any time you get an opportunity to play in front of the fans you want to do your best and make a good impression, and make it fun for them. It was a good day. It was great weather, always a great day to play football," said Webb, who caught two passes for 86 yards from Rudolph, was on the receiving end of a 30-yarded from Walsh and also teamed up with Hubenak on a 12-yard catch.

"They're all great quarterbacks," he said. "They can all spin the ball, they can all run the ball. Whoever it is we feel confident they're going to get the job done."

Webb was a contributor as a freshman (14 catches for 218 yards, including the touchdown in the Heart of Dallas Bowl) but injuries derailed his season a year ago after only three games. He's ready to make up for lost time.

"It was really frustrating. Come that third game and I couldn't get on the plane and I couldn't run, everything you worked for you felt like was gone out the window. You just had to look forward to the next day and the next year, and now it's our time to go play," Webb said.

"Every day is an opportunity to get better and to better yourself. If I'm fortunate enough to get on the field and make some plays this year I'll be excited."

Webb believes he's in a much better position to contribute than he was just 12 months ago.

"I'd just say I'm a lot faster. I'm bigger. I know the game a lot better now. I'm more comfortable playing in the offense, and that comes with maturity. I'm just excited about this next season," he said.

"It's funny because you lose people every year and every year we reload. Every year we have great receivers, every year we have great quarterbacks, and every year we have great running backs and a great line. We're not worried about it. We have young guys who are great players who going to step in, and we'll be fine."

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