It is every player’s dream to not only be granted the opportunity to play football in college, but to get offered a full ride to do so. However, for most of them, by the end of their senior season their dreams remain just that, a dream, as their dream falls short of becoming a reality.
Then there are the players like Dexter Blackmon who are blessed and fortunate enough to achieve the ultimate prize. The 6-foot-3, 265-pound defensive tackle received his official offer from coach Les Miles in July after showcasing a stellar performance at the Tigers’ summer camp and the rest was history as Blackmon committed nearly on the spot.
Now, some six months later, the Selma High School (Ala.) product is still pinching himself hoping this is more than just a dream.
“Everything is still the same with me,” Blackmon said of life since his commitment. “I’ve been helping the underclassmen in the weight room trying to get them better. It’s exciting because I know I’m getting the opportunity to do something that most guys dream about. It feels good getting to be the kid that other kids say they want to be like.”
As a senior, Blackmon recorded 83 tackles – 62 solos and 21 assists – eight sacks, and also forced five fumbles for his Selma squad that finished 3-7. His final year at Selma didn’t go as planned for Blackmon but he developed as a player both on and off the field.
“I always tell the underclassmen if I could do it then they can do it,” Blackmon added. “They just have to work hard for it. Three years ago I never thought I’d see the day I’d have a scholarship offer to play Division-I football.
“I just watched the guys in front of me and tried not to do the things they did wrong. I learned that you could learn a lot sometimes by just sitting back and watching others. I also have a quote on my bedroom wall that says ‘be the best when you get to the place you want to go’. That made me a different person from when I woke up until when I walked out my house every morning.”
Blackmon is excited because in a couple of weeks he will get a sneak peak of what life will be like when he arrives on the LSU campus as a student.
“I’ve kept in touch with the LSU coaches,” Blackmon said since his commitment. “We have a good relationship. I spoke with Coach Cooper and Coach Haley the week before dead week. They were just making sure I was sticking with LSU and I told them I was.
“I’m scheduled to take my official visit to LSU the last weekend in January,” Blackmon continued. “The camp in July kind of took the butterflies out of my stomach, so I’m hoping this trip gets me more settled in. I want to see what the campus life is like during school.”
Blackmon is so confident his official visit will make his connection to LSU even greater that he left a message for LSU fans.
"Tell them come February 3rd, they're going to have a new Tiger," Blackmon exclaimed.