OSU football: How James Washington’s Biletnikoff season measures up to two-time winner Justin Blackmon?
BY KENDRICK MARSHALL • TULSA WORLD
Senior James Washington could become the second Oklahoma State wide receiver to win the Biletnikoff Award this week.
His statistics in 2017 not only put him among the best wide receivers in the country, but also in Oklahoma State history.
During his career, Washington is the active FBS leader in receiving touchdowns (38), receiving yards (4,346) and is just one of 21 players to surpass 4,000 career receiving yards.
But how does Washington’s senior season compare to those of Justin Blackmon, a two-time winner?
Let’s go inside the numbers.
Washington had 69 receptions during the regular season. As great of a season as Washington had, the 69 catches — tied for 30th in the FBS — were fewer than the 71 receptions he ended up with following last year’s Alamo Bowl.
When Blackmon won the award in 2011, he totaled 114 receptions ahead of the Cowboys Fiesta Bowl matchup versus Stanford, which was good for second in the country. At the time, Blackmon’s catch total broke his own OSU record set the previous season.
In 2010, Blackmon was third nationally with 102 receptions in 11 regular season games. Only Greg Salas of Hawaii and Ryan Broyles of Oklahoma had more.
For the third consecutive season, Washington surpassed the 1,000-yard mark. His 1,423 yards in 2017, which led the FBS, is the fourth all-time for a single season behind Dez Bryant and Blackmon in OSU history.
When Blackmon won the Biletnikoff in 2010, he had 1,665 yards in 11 regular-season outings on 148.5 yards per game — second among qualified Division I receivers that year. Blackmon followed that up in 2011 totaling 1,522 yards on 117.1 yards per game, which had him fourth in the FBS.
Washington accomplished a career-high of 12 touchdowns (fourth in FBS) after back-to-back seasons of 10 TDs over his sophomore and junior seasons.
The 12 touchdown receptions by Washington were three fewer than Blackmon’s 15 in 2011 and eight fewer than the 20 Blackmon scored in 2010, a school record.
Where Washington surpasses Blackmon is in yards per catch. The senior exceeded his 2015 season of 20.5 with 20.6 yards per reception in 2017. That places second in program history behind Rashaun Woods, who averaged 20.9 yards per catch in 2004.
Blackmon’s best season in this category was in 2010 when he averaged 16.1 yards for every reception.
The long ball
On the deep ball, Washington might be the best in the history of the school, averaging 41.9 yards per touchdown. Sixteen of his 38 career TDs have gained at least 40 yards.
This season alone, Washington caught 29 passes that went for at least 15 yards and 17 that gained 25 and beyond.
In 2011, Blackmon caught 35 balls of 15 yards and 12 that went for more than 25 yards. The 2010 season was just as remarkable with the then-sophomore recording 40 and 19 catches, respectively in those categories.