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OSU's Hubert Anyiam back on track

8/1/2011

Justin Blackmon exploded to become Oklahoma State's No. 1 receiver from the season opener, when he caught three touchdown passes, more than he'd previously had in his entire career.

As the season progressed, Josh Cooper became the team's obvious second option, finishing with 68 catches for 736 yards and five touchdowns.

But one receiver's absence was rendered more inconspicuous by the offense's rise to one of the best in college football: Hubert Anyiam.

Could the OSU offense be even better in 2011 with Anyiam as an addition, perhaps overtaking Cooper as the team's No. 2 receiver? After finally recovering from a nagging ankle injury, that might be the case.

"I hope so," Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said. "Hubert, I think he's healthy for the first time in 12-15 months. Two years ago, he carried the load for us."

NFL first-round pick Dez Bryant was suspended by the NCAA for the final 10 games of the 2009 season, and Anyiam stepped into the role as the team's go-to receiver. No other Cowboys receiver had more than 25 catches, compared to Anyiam's 42 for 515 yards and three touchdowns. All three of those scores, and 31 of his receptions came in a five-game stretch in conference play that featured wins over Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Missouri. A lone loss to national runner-up Texas sent the Cowboys to a 4-1 finish during the stretch.

"When we lost Dez, he made a ton of plays for us. We beat A&M on the road and he makes two big catches. We beat Missouri on the road and he catches a fourth-down pass right before halftime," Gundy said.

Anyiam caught 10 passes for 119 yards against the Tigers, both career highs. Gundy would love to see both of those numbers cease to be career highs this season.

"I think he's kind of back into the groove of being ready to play, both mentally and physically," Gundy said.