First and 10: Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon
June, 1, 2012
By Jon Gold | Special to ESPN.com
Joe Robbins/Getty ImagesThe Jacksonville Jaguars traded up two spots to select Justin Blackmon with the No. 5 overall pick.[Editor's Note: ESPN Playbook subjected 10 rising pro football stars to offbeat interviews at the recent NFLPA Rookie Premiere event in Los Angeles. Here's what transpired.]
Position: Wide receiver College: Oklahoma State
Team: Jacksonville Jaguars 2012 NFL draft: First round (No. 5 overall)
ESPN Playbook: What has been your "Welcome to the NFL" moment?
Mark J. Rebilas/US PresswireBlackmon led the Big 12 with 121 catches, 1,522 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns in 2011.
Blackmon: Just getting that phone call in the greenroom, sitting there with my family was a big reality check. It was like, 'It’s here. I’m finally here. It’s time to start working, try to get going.'
What are you going to miss the most about college?
Just the campus life -- all the spirit. It’s a whole new game, from college to the NFL. You’re there with the students and they’re going through it with you. I’m going to miss being around all the students, seeing them every day.
What are you looking forward to most about your new city?
I’m just looking forward to getting out and actually seeing it. I have yet to really go out in Jacksonville and explore, see what it has to offer. I’m going into it open.
What is your favorite video game?
“Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.” Came out May 22. Grab it.
If you could get one rookie card from one player here, whose would it be?
Mr. Trent Richardson, and if not him, then Brandon Weeden. And they’re both on the same team. I would have to grab one of their rookie cards.
Who has the best college cheerleaders?
You already know what I’m going to say. Oklahoma State cheerleaders. National champs this year. I’m going to have to go with them.
What are your offseason goals?
Rick Dole/Getty ImagesThe Jaguars made Blackmon the highest-drafted OSU player since Barry Sanders went No. 3 in '89.
My offseason goals are just to prepare myself and get myself as ready as I can be. Control the things that I can control, and that’s prepare myself the best way I can to be ready to go up against the talent that the NFL has.
What was the NFL draft like for you?
I was laid-back. I was calm. It didn’t really hit me until I got back to the hotel room. I was sitting there with my family. It was a dream come true, something I’ve wanted for years. For it to actually happen, for me to get that phone call -- I’ve watched the draft for many years and watched other people go through it -- for it to actually happen where I was sitting in that room, getting the phone call, it was a dream come true.
Biggest difference between being a college football star and a pro football player?
I would say it’s just the people you get to meet. All the receivers I look up to -- Larry Fitzgerald, Terrell Owens, [Calvin Johnson] -- I’ve actually met them, got to sit down and talk with them. You meet all the people you grew up watching and you can have a casual conversation with them, try to pick it apart. I’ve been a sponge trying to absorb all of it in.
Who would be the one celebrity, athlete or otherwise, you would like to meet?
I would love to interview Jerry Rice and just sit down and pick apart his brain. Being one of the greats to ever play the game, to be able to sit down and see what advice he could give to me to better my future would mean a great deal to me.
Jon Gold is a sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News and a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. You can find him on Twitter at @TheCoolSub or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.