Blalock’s maturity key to his success on/off the gridiron
Brian Davis, assistant athletics director for academic affairs, remembers the first time he encountered Justin Blalock.
Or, rather, that he encountered Justin Blalock’s high school transcript.
“The coach who was recruiting him showed me Justin’s transcript,” Davis said. “And as I looked at it I said, ‘We’ve got to have that guy.’”
And The University of Texas has had that guy since 2002.
Today, that guy is the Male Student-Athlete of the Month for October.
Blalock, who has started all of his college games at right tackle, is one of the leaders of the 2006 Longhorns. A pre-season All-America, he was a key member of the offensive line that helped UT’s offense average 471.9 yards per game during the 2005 National Championship season.
“I consider this quite an honor,” Blalock said of the Student-Athlete of the Month recognition.
“There are so many (student- athletes) in this school,” the senior offensive tackle continued.,“that to receive this award is special. It means a great deal to me to be recognized.”
Blalock, a youth and community studies major, is a two-time member of the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.
“Justin always has done well academically,” Davis said of the Plano East High School alum. “When he got here, his maturity already was evident. He didn’t act as many college students act -- athletes and non-athletes alike -- knowing that this was the first time on his own and no one was around to watch him.
“Justin had an understanding of how to act. He had an expectation of how his college life would be.”
And what it has been is most successful on the football field -- the 6-foot-4, 329-pound Blalock is a two-time first-team All- Big 12 performer -- and successful in the classroom as Blalock will be able to graduate in December, completing his final three hours this fall.
“Justin’s dedication to his school work has allowed him to be in position to graduate in December,” Davis said. “Justin is continuing the trend of the last few senior classes on the football team where the players have been able to graduate in December, so they have the spring to focus on their NFL futures.”
Blalock should be playing on Sundays next year, and many years thereafter.
But for now, his focus is completing his studies and helping the Longhorns to another grand season.
“There are sacrifices you have to make to play football and do well in school,” Blalock said. “But those sacrifices are worth it.”