JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Four years younger than his brother, Justin Blackmon spent much of his childhood getting knocked around.
On the football field. On the basketball court. In the living room.
Then Blackmon hit the weight room. And things changed dramatically.
Blackmon bulked up, surpassed his brother athletically and eventually became one of the best receivers in college football. The Jacksonville Jaguars traded up two spots to select the 6-foot-1, 207-pound Blackmon with the fifth pick in the NFL Draft Thursday night, potentially giving them a playmaking receiver for the first time in years.
Blackmon's turning point came back when he was a junior at Plainview High School in Ardmore. After years of prodding from his brother, Blackmon finally started lifting weights. Blackmon didn't notice much difference early on, but his brother, Warren, sure did. Warren returned home from a semester at Prairie View A&M University and found his younger sibling transformed.
“I was shocked,” Warren Blackmon said Friday. “We both could dunk, but when I come home to watch him play games, he'd do like a windmill dunk, a 360 dunk. I was never able to do any of that.”
Blackmon has been impressing people ever since, in high school and at Oklahoma State.
He really caught Jacksonville's attention. The Jaguars gave up a fourth-round pick to move into position to draft Blackmon.
“He's a football player,” new coach Mike Mularkey said. “There's not one particular thing he does better than the other. He's a complete player, does it all, unselfish in everything he does. I know our team's going to be excited about having him, not just on the field but in the locker room.”