During his suspension-filled time with the Jaguars, one thing Justin Blackmon made clear from the moment he came into the NFL was that he was the anti-diva. The 2012 first-round draft pick never cared for the spotlight, though a few of his breathtaking performances as a receiver put him there. Even when Blackmon played well, he loathed media attention and talking about himself. Now that he’s been in NFL exile for eight months — serving a second suspension and still under an indefinite ban for violating the league policy on substance abuse — the guarded Blackmon has kept himself as insulated as possible. Many of his coaches at Plainview High in Oklahoma, who once felt a tight bond with him, have lost contact. Except for an occasional text message, Blackmon keeps a safe distance from Jaguars’ teammates that he was close with and shares no personal information. “Every now and again, he will respond to my text,” said Jaguars receiver Mike Brown. “We came into the NFL together and we’re halfway close. But I don’t get into his personal business. Whatever he has going on, I respect his space. “I just want him to get better. Whatever the problem is, get it addressed. I’m more concerned about him as a person.” The Times-Union talked to several people in Blackmon’s inner circle, including an extended conversation with his mother, Donna Blackmon, and learned that those who care for him the most prefer to keep a tight lid on his whereabouts and recovery process. “That’s my son. I’m mom and try not to be the person that’s sharing [information about him],” Donna Blackmon said, explaining why she preferred not to disclose any details about Justin’s life since his most recent suspension. Blackmon’s mother was courteous, but politely declined to answer questions about how her son was doing, where he was living, whether or not he was in some type of rehab/counseling, or staying in football shape. Two sources told the Times-Union he’s living in the Oklahoma City area. Messages from the Times-Union to Justin Blackmon, either by direct contact or having messages relayed to him, were not returned. Since entering the NFL, Blackmon has often put himself under the microscope for good and bad reasons. Two months after the Jaguars made him the No. 5 pick in the 2012 draft, he pleaded guilty to aggravated DUI charges in Oklahoma, stemming from a police stop in which he had triple the legal limit of alcohol in his system. His blood-alcohol level was tested twice and he registered a .26 and .24.
The uncertain future of Jaguars' Justin Blackmon
Florida Times Union | Jun 22