Jacob Blackburn just wanted to play one more football season, no matter how far it took him. Unable to enroll at his neighborhood school, Buckeye Verrado, where he was named the top defensive player on the junior varsity his sophomore year, Blackburn drives 40 miles each day to Wickenburg to join teammates who wonder how he has been able to accomplish so much. They’re amazed he already has two junior-college degrees, and is on the verge of getting a third in IT Security, that he already went through a Navy boot camp and spent eight months in the military, and that he works one weekend a month in the Navy reserve...
Blackburn had 98 college credits with a 3.89 grade-point average at that point. Justin Blackburn, Jacob's father, said that his son was a half credit short on two history courses to receive the required high school credits to graduate with a high school diploma.
Last year, Jacob was home-schooled and didn’t play football at Verrado, while taking courses at Estrella Mountain Community College, and enlisting in the Navy. He was sent to boot camp the week of Thanksgiving. In late January, he was sent to Pensacola, Fla., where he served until Aug. 10, when he was honorably discharged after graduating his "A school" with honors as a Navy Network Cryptologic technician, his dad said.