justin blackmon where is he now sports heroes

An Ode to the Great Oklahoma State Cowboys Record-Setting Receiver Justin Blackmon— Gone From the Public Spotlight, But Never Forgotten


When it comes to Forgotten Sports Heroes, there are few players out there as beloved as former Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon.

Justin Carl Blackmon was more than a wide receiver on the football field — he was truly a force of nature.

The story of Justin Blackmon reminds me of musical icon Whitney Houston. People always say, “that’s so sad.”

To be fair, her story is incredibly tragic.

Blessed with one in a billion type talent, Whitney Houston had the voice of an angel.

There will never be another Whitney. We all know that.

But life is all about perspective and I choose to think, at least we got to see what we did out of Whitney, instead of thinking about “what could have been.”

blackmon jaguars

I choose the same perspective to help me cope with the fact that Justin Carl Blackmon is no longer playing football.

It is incredibly sad that he’s not.

His potential Hall-of-Fame caliber NFL career was derailed by his substance abuse issues, which could be another article in itself.

That’s another article for another day.

Much like Whitney Houston made music with her vocals on the microphone, Blackmon made music on the football field at Oklahoma State with Brandon Weeden.

Blackmon, aka #81, established himself as one of the greatest receivers in college football history in a matter of two years. He dominated the game in a way that has been rarely been seen.

Simply put, Blackmon was un-guardable.

justin blackmon


Blackmon’s College Career Was a Master Class in Receiving


justin blackmon
Photo via Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman

He became just the second receiver in college football history to win the Biletnikoff Award twice (2010 & 2011).

He hauled in over 230 catches in two seasons, while shredding opposing secondaries to the tune of over 3,200 receiving yards and 38 touchdowns.

Blackmon was also consensus first team All-American in back-to-back (2010 & 2011) seasons for the Cowboys.

The 2010 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, Blackmon became the first receiver to ever win the award.

Perhaps most impressively, he holds the NCAA record for most consecutive games gaining 100 yards or more and most games gaining 200 yards or more.

For anyone out there who was a fan of his game—there are certainly some feelings of “what could have been.”

To me, there’s no question Blackmon would have been a Hall-of-Famer in the NFL if he had stayed on the right path.

He had an amazing ability to adjust his body to the football, no matter where it was thrown, and he was a master at boxing out opposing DBs in the end zone when it came to catching fade passes and long bombs in Stillwater.

Unfortunately, playing in the NFL was not on Blackmon’s agenda. He knew the rules to play in the NFL. He needed to get his substance abuse issues under control or football was finished.

When you get arrested four times in five years for substance abuse, let’s just say, it’s clear playing professional football is not your priority.

His alcohol issues were so bad before entering the NFL that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sent a scout to Blackmon’s favorite bar in Stillwater to see how often Blackmon went there in a week’s time.

Ultimately, we were deprived of moments like the one shown below during his time with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and that’s a crying shame.

blackmon nfl

A former Bucs GM Discussed This in an Article on Deadspin:

“We found out there was a bar called the Cricket Inn or the Cricket, which was a popular bar there in Oklahoma State,” said former Bucs GM Mark Dominik.

“He [the scout] sat there for one week, went in at 3 o’clock every day and stayed until 11 o’clock at night.

That was his job, and we checked how many times did Justin Blackmon come in? And he came in too many times and we took him off our board.”

They could have taken the man who was the best wide receiver in college football for two seasons—but he instead was picked by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Jaguars took Blackmon at #5 in the first round, and the rest, they say, is history.

Blackmon flashed enormous potential in the 2012 and 2013 seasons with the Jaguars.

On November 18, 2012, he had 236 receiving yards in a single game as an NFL rookie—the third most receiving yards by a rookie in NFL history at the time/

Unfortunately, Blackmon’s alcohol issues would follow him in the NFL, and he could never get things under control.

The last mention of Blackmon on the Internet is from 2017—when he got off probation after avoiding arrest for a year.

Not a peep has been heard from him in the past few years. He has faded from the public spotlight entirely.

Many football fans have probably forgotten about him, but it’s hard to forget about a player who was so incredibly dominant, so incredibly unique.

It stings to write about Blackmon.

Much like Whitney, I choose to be thankful we got to see what we did, which was one of the greatest receivers ever to play the game.

He was incredible.

He might have faded out of the public spotlight for several years—but few football fans out there will never forget Justin Blackmon.


Do You Remember Justin Blackmon? Watch Some of His Greatest Moments in the Video Below


Blackmon put up 186 yards and three scores in the Cowboys’ 41-38 come from behind win over Stanford in the 2012 Fiesta Bowl below. 

Check out the highlights if you’ve got a few minutes to spare: 

Justin Blackmon photo above via USATSI