MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

OSU

August 27, 2013

Cowboys’ WR finding peace in Stillwater

STILLWATER – A season ago, Blake Jackson came to Oklahoma State as a relative unknown Scottsdale Community College transfer who almost seemed out of place in the midwest.

But while the Gilbert, Ariz., import may have struggled settling into his new home in Stillwater, there was one place Jackson always felt at home – the end zone.

Dubbed “big-play” Blake by some of his teammates after averaging 19.9 yards per catch, Jackson is finally starting to feel at home in Stillwater. And that could spell trouble for the defenses of the Big 12.

“Really, I have my mind set on personal goals for myself,” Jackson said. “I really just want to be a more consistent player and I want to dominate as much as possible. It’s not so much of a number, it’s just really taking advantage of all the opportunities I do get.”

Those opportunities may be a little more limited this year. Jackson comes into the season as somewhat of a marked man after finishing third on last year’s squad with 30 catches for 598 yards.

“I somewhat think there is (more pressure),” Jackson said. “My teammates do have certain expectations of me to come out and perform every Saturday, but I don’t take it as pressure. I just take it as a reward for all the hard work that I’ve done.”

“I think Blake’s going to have a huge year for us,” Oklahoma State receiver Tracy Moore said. “Last year, he was still feeling some things out – getting used to our offense and stuff. This year, he’s been working really hard to get better. He knows our offense and is starting to feel a little more comfortable with everything.”

There may be some pressure for Jackson to duplicate those numbers again this year, but unlike most players Jackson actually welcomes the pressure of emerging into a go-to receiver in Oklahoma State’s offense.

“That’s the part you have to love,” Jackson said. “When you work really hard and you put in all that time to this stuff, you have to be ready to step up and be a leader for a team that has such high expectations on the road to a great season. You have to embrace it.”

Embracing things is nothing new to Jackson. He embraced Stillwater, embraced Oklahoma State’s program and embraced the role of becoming a go-to target after Moore went down last season.

Now he’s ready to embrace a new role – the role of becoming a leader and favored target in what could be Oklahoma State’s deepest receiving corp yet.

“I feel like the maturity level of some of the freshman receivers was really surprising,” Jackson said. “Those guys came in ready to work and want to learn from us older guys. They want to carry on that tradition of having a great passing game, which makes our job easier as leaders.”

With only one ball to share, Jackson that even if he can’t put up similar numbers or better this season it won’t bother him – so long as somebody is putting up the big numbers.

“We throw the ball considerably more than most teams in football right now,” Jackson said. “Honestly, there’s going to be enough balls for all of us. My main goal is to be the best player I can be for this team, regardless if it’s blocking for Tracy (Moore) when he catches the ball or me running down the field.”

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