Hornets QB survives fall

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

PLANTERSVILLE – Dallas County’s first day of summer workouts Monday came with some dampening news.

Starting quarterback Drew Blackmon suffered an accident over the weekend that will put him out for at the least the entirety of the coming football season.

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Blackmon underwent treatment at UAB Hospital in Birmingham after a fall that broke the C7, T3 and T4 vertebrae in his neck and back on Saturday.

Blackmon was spending the day with his friend in Plantersville when he fell from a tree into shallow water.

“I know he was at Mulberry Creek and getting up on a limb getting ready to get into the creek, and he slipped and fell,” said Russell Blackmon, Drew’s father. “When he did, he landed on his head in about three feet of water. (Doctors) got his blood pressure up so he could get more blood to his spine. He’s got a little numbness in two or three of his fingers on his right hand, but they said he’ll get that back.”

Drew is fully conscious and wearing a neck stabilizing brace that should come off in 10 weeks, his father said. According to doctors, Drew’s spine is lined up properly, and he is expected to get out of ICU today at the latest.

Athletic director and football coach John Higgins said he received seven or eight messages about the accident on Saturday night and Sunday morning.

“We’re just glad he’s not paralyzed or worse,” Higgins said. “He’s gone for his senior year, but I hear there’s some talk he might be a part of our baseball program in February. I don’t know if that’s realistic, but I’m going to go see him in Birmingham so I can find out a little more about what’s going on.”

The loss literally affects every aspect of Dallas County’s team. Blackmon started five games under center last season and played parts of all 10 games at wide receiver, outside linebacker and long snapper.

“This is going to really make us earn our money as coaches to try and figure out how to handle this,” Higgins said. “We might have to change our offensive philosophy because we’re going to have two guys that are completely inexperienced at quarterback. What we’re going to have to do is look at our offense and see if we have to tweak it, which I’m 99 percent sure we will.”

Russell said Drew argued that he would be back to play ball no matter what, something that dad had to admire.

“He’s a trooper,” Russell Blackmon said. “He’s got some fight in him. We just appreciate everyone in Selma thinking about us.”