Selma’s Blackmon picks LSU

Published 8:47 pm Friday, July 24, 2009

The circle of life for the Dexter Blackmon family of Selma apparently is going to be played out in Baton Rouge, La.

In the late 1980s, Dexter Blackmon Sr. lettered four seasons for Southern University as a defensive end. He was named Southwestern Athletic Conference Freshman Lineman of the Year in 1986.

On Friday, his son — Dexter Jr. from Selma High — made a verbal commitment to play defensive end for LSU in 2010.

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“I want to keep going where my dad left off,” said Blackmon, whose father was injured during his senior year at Southern. “I’ve played (football) since I was 5 or 6, and always had a dream of playing in the NFL.”

Blackmon is a 6-4, 278-pounder who runs 4.8 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He has a 29-inch vertical leap, lifts 500 pounds in squats and 345 in bench press. During his junior season at Selma, he collected 65 tackles with 10 sacks and two knockdowns.

Blackmon’s performance at this week’s LSU camp impressed coaches so much they offered him the scholarship. Verbal commitments are non-binding, and National Signing Day is Feb. 3.

Blackmon’s father is a volunteer assistant at Selma, where he has been coaching the defensive line.

“At first I was surprised” with the verbal commitment, Blackmon Sr. said. “I was glad that he did it so he could get it behind him going into his senior year.”

He said they talked with LSU head football coach Les Miles about two hours after the workouts.

“When they were working out in groups, Coach (Ron) Cooper was leading the defensive linemen,” Blackmon Sr. said. “Coach Miles was watching the drills, and he stepped in and took over. I was impressed with that.”

Before the LSU camp, Blackmon had gotten an offer from Troy, according to online recruiting sites. Among other schools expressing interest were Alabama and Auburn.

Selma head football coach Foster Davis said Friday morning he had received phone calls about Blackmon’s decision.

“He is an outstanding kid with outstanding character,” Davis said. “And he comes from an outstanding family.”

Blackmon said he was impressed with LSU’s forensics department, which he plans to study. He also was surprised with the results of the camp.

“I expected to work hard and get a few pats on the back,” he said. “But I got more than that.”

He said the hardest part of the camp was the one-on-one drills.

“I had to go against some of the best linemen,” Blackmon said. “It felt like I was already playing at the college level.”