Blackmon Has Impressive Showing In Scrimmage

Tray Blackmon talks about his performance in his first scrimmage as an Auburn Tiger and how he is adjusting to the college game.

Auburn, Ala.--For the last couple of years at LaGrange High School Tray Blackmon has played the game of football like a man among boys.

The talented linebacker was well known for flying to the football faster than any other defensive player in his region and delivering some of the most punishing hits that have ever been seen in GHSAA football.

On Wednesday afternoon, near the end of the scrimmage when Blackmon took the field with the third team defense against mostly third team offensive players, he again looked like a man among boys.

The 6-0, 192-pounder was flying from sideline to sideline, blowing up lead blocks from fullbacks and leaping through the air to deliver punishing hits to wide receivers all in the span of 10 minutes or less.

"It felt great," Blackmon said about his first full contact practice on the college level. "It was a chance to prove myself and try to go hard and make a couple of plays. I am just trying to take advantage of the chance that the coaches are giving me so I can gain some trust."

Despite enjoying the chance to get back in the groove of punishing opposing players, Blackmon says he is far from content with the way he is playing in his second week of college practice.

"I am not satisfied with the way I played, but I am confident that I am improving," he says. "I feel good with where I am at now, but I plan to get better.

"I feel like I was able to work with the plays pretty good and I ran to the ball and made pretty good tackles," he adds about the things he feels like he did well.

Overall, the speedy linebacker says he is making a good transition to the college game. "I think I am learning pretty well as a freshman coming in," he explains. "The defense is really simple, everything makes sense and the coaches put it into logical terms for you. Also, working with the older guys now it is coming to me pretty quick so I am just paying attention, working hard and going 100 percent every play."

Getting the chance to get on the field with the veterans in practice situations is always a big key in the development for incoming players, and Blackmon says that has certainly been the case with him.

"It has been very critical to my learning the defense," he says "Those older guys have been working with me on what mistakes not to make over and over again and really just guiding me on my fits and basically the things I am supposed to do at will (weakside) linebacker. AT, (Antarrious Williams) he is a great coach and Coach (Joe) Whitt he coaches me up on any questions I have and tries to make sure I understand it."

Along with learning the basics and fundamentals of the game from veterans like Antarrious and Travis Williams, Blackmon also notes that he is working to mold his game after them as well.

"I definitely feed off of those guys," he explains. "The way they run around, and being smaller like we are you have got to be smarter and play harder. So, I feed off of those guys, the way they play and the level of intensity they play with. They know their stuff so they are not thinking, they are running around making plays, and I look at the way they play and try and base myself on their style of play."

The quick and undersized linebacker certainly looked the part of an AT or Travis Williams clone in his stint on the field Wednesday, and that was most true when he was able to make his biggest hit of the session.

On a pass to fellow freshman Robert Dunn in the flats, Blackmon read the QB's eyes and broke toward Dunn in full sprint as the ball left his hands. As the ball reached Dunn, Blackmon was already flying through the air fully extended toward Dunn. Blackmon finished the play by doing a good job of wrapping up the receiver and bringing him down after the monster lick.

"In the defense that is my man over to the flats and I just ran--full speed," he said about what he did on the play. "You just see the man and run and try to make the play. I was not as worried about getting everything right, but mostly just running around, giving the effort and being coachable."


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