The spotlight, drugs and a life altered: the saga of Justin Blackmon

Justin Blackmon made Brandon Weeden look like a star. He made Mike Gundy look like a genius and he made the Oklahoma State Cowboys one of the most entertaining college football teams to watch. In fact, he helped make the Cowboys into a Big 12 Champion and a Fiesta Bowl victor.

Blackmon’s legacy was cemented and his future was bright.

Three years later, his legacy is different and the only thing that is bright are the lights from the police car in the rearview mirror.

His talent is still undeniable, but his problem with addiction has derailed his career as a football player.

After Oklahoma State, Blackmon landed with the Jacksonville Jaguars with the fifth overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft. His rookie season started slowly with just 14 catches for 126 yards and no touchdowns in the first six games. Thats when something clicked on the field and he began to shine again. Over the last 10 games for the struggling Jaguars, he registered 50 catches for 739 yards and five scores. His coming out party came in a 43-37 loss to the Houston Texans when he caught seven balls for 236 yards, including an 81-yard TD early in the fourth quarter to give the Jags a two score lead.

That left him with 64 catches for 865 yards and five touchdowns. Expectations were high for Blackmon to have a huge second year when a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy changed all of that. After the suspension was over, Blackmon showed his talent once again with a pair of monster outings, including a 14 reception, 190-yard performance against the Denver Broncos. He was back in the spotlight again!

After two more games, he was hit by the substance abuse policy rules again. Another suspension came, but this time it was an indefinite one. One with no clear end in sight. And that was before another arrest for Marijuana possession.

There is no telling what this latest arrest will do for the NFL future of Justin Blackmon; but one thing is abundantly evident, he has a problem.  It is unclear at this point if he will ever step on an NFL field again, but that is the least of his worries right now. The focus should be on getting clean and trying to find a new start. It is time to take the Tyrann Mathieu route. Time to go to rehab and clean up his life so that he can have a future. The future that we all expected just three years ago!

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