PROVO — Devon Blackmon's career at BYU didn't exactly start out with a bang.
An unspecified mistake, a one-game suspension, and then an unfortunate tweet announcing as much weren't exactly what fans, coaches, and particularly Blackmon himself envisioned after he signed on with the program as an uncommonly gifted athlete out of junior college.
Blackmon served his suspension last week against UConn and hopes to move on fast after learning his lesson.
“You don’t announce team consequences on the social media because that causes more negative attention to the team,” Blackmon said about the lesson he learned. “That was my fault. I don’t want to cause negative attention to the team — just a positive light on everybody.”
With his lesson learned, Blackmon now looks forward to making a big contribution when the team takes on Texas this Saturday. Given his athletic credentials, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound speedster could contribute heavily.
Blackmon arrived at BYU a gifted athlete who originally signed with Oregon out of Fontana (California) High. After playing just one year for the Ducks, he left school and caught on with Riverside Community College before signing with the Cougars.
According to Blackmon, it's been three long years since he played competitive football, and as a result, he's obviously anxious for the opportunity against Texas.
“I’m looking forward to the excitement and seeing the fans, making plays for the team, and contributing the best way I can,” Blackmon said. “I’m looking forward overall to a great team win. ... I don’t know what to expect, but I’m going to give it my all.”
Blackmon also intends to give it his all off the field as well while at BYU. Ever since his initial mistake, he's met frequently with BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall to help acclimate himself better to the school's unique social and academic environment.
“I go to (Mendenhall) every day to ask what I’m doing just because I don’t want to mess up and cause a detriment to the team like I did against Uconn,” Blackmon said.
Another person helping Blackmon adjust is his former high school teammate and good friend, Jamaal Williams.
“I’m like his older brother off the field when we go back home, but up here he’s like my older brother,” Blackmon said of Williams. “He’s teaching me the ropes, so it’s different. I just sit back and listen to him. I’m just proud of him and the person he’s become.”
Blackmon admits to still encountering difficulties adjusting to BYU, and all it entails, but constantly reminds himself of larger goals and the big picture.
“Coming to this town you got to settle down, be more mature, (and) respect other people’s opinions and values,” he said. “I guess for the average person, who doesn’t know (the rules), it would be hard, but if you know you have to do something — if you know what you need to do to get to the next step — this is the way I got to go.”
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