Cowboy Wrestling

Oklahoma State wrestling will send out its own pair brothers this season. The wrestling team now has the Blackmons to go along with the Woods brothers in football and the Graham twins in basketball. Rusty and Bryant Blackmon might be the lesser known family combination, but they are still looking for big things from themselves and from each other.

The Blackmons hail from Cleveland, Tenn., although they now call Stillwater home. The two brothers live together, which is nothing new to them. Bryant, a freshman, has lived with Rusty, a junior, the past three summers in Stillwater.

Bryant has gotten the opportunity to train and workout with his brother who is a returning starter on the team, and was one win away from earning All-America honors last season.

In addition to training with Rusty, Bryant has also drilled with defending national champion Chris Pendleton in practice. He does not expect to beat Pendleton at this point in his career, but is just trying to make himself better.

"?Chris (Pendleton) has so much technique and he just helps me with everything,?" the younger Bryant said. "?If I do anything slightly wrong then he will stop me, and he tells me what I am doing. He just helps me tremendously.?"

It has been a smooth transition for Bryant both on and off the mat. Having an older brother on the team, Rusty has helped Bryant in the classroom as well as with his wrestling. Bryant says Rusty was the main reason why he chose to come to Oklahoma State.

"?I let him make his own decision,?" Rusty Blackmon said. ?"He could have gone to some smaller Division 1 colleges. He had some other opportunities. I told him to do what he wanted to do. I was happy that he ended up coming here.?"

?"He has been a great brother,"? Bryant said. ?"He showed me around and has helped me with my classes. We are about as close as they come."

? While Bryant will likely redshirt his freshman season, Rusty looks to have a big impact after dropping down from the 197-pound weight class. Rusty is in a battle for the starting spot at 184 with Brent Parkey, Clay Kehrer and Jack Jensen. He is currently ranked 14th by Amateur Wrestling News and has an edge over his competitors with a year of experience.

Bryant will get a chance to compete for the spot Pendleton will vacate at the conclusion of the season. He will be competing for an open slot at 174. It would give Rusty and Bryant the opportunity to wrestle in the same lineup in consecutive weight classes.

The two Blackmons spent a lot of time wrestling side by side at Bradley Central High School so wrestling together in college is nothing new to them. Rusty is excited to think about the possibility of wrestling together in college and being able to take road trips together.

The pair have high expectations this season, although their goals might be slightly different. Rusty expects himself to All-American this year after finishing the season so strong last year. Bryant has lofty goals for his career at Oklahoma State, but will have to wait for his opportunity.

As far as wrestling goes, the Blackmons have a long way to go before they are mentioned in the same breath as another set of OSU wrestling brothers, the Smiths.

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