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BUFORD – Limestone College, which is starting a football program, is the right place for Buford High School senior football player C.J. Blackmon.
The Saints, a NCAA Division II school in Conference Carolinas, will field their first football team in the fall of 2014.
Blackmon, who signed with the Saints on Friday, March 14 in the BHS conference room, is anxious to get started, but the wait will be worth it.
Blackmon, a four-year starter, is coming off ACL surgery following a season-ending injury during his senior campaign in a BHS home game with Lewisville High School on Sept. 21.
“This is the perfect situation for me,” said Blackmon. “I get a year under my belt to be ready to play. I’m humbled for a chance to play college football.
“I have a year to sit out and make sure my knee is 100 percent,” Blackmon said. “My surgery and rehab have gone well and I feel I’ll be ready to play.”
Before his injury last season, Blackmon, a two-time all-region pick for the Jackets, played well.
Blackmon, as a junior, posted 58 tackles, with a tackle for loss, an interception and three broken-up passes in the Jackets’ secondary.
Blackmon, at quarterback, ran for 122 yards, two touchdowns and was 31-71 passing for five touchdowns.
He was the Jackets’ Most Improved Player Award recipient in his sophomore and junior seasons.
“He was an outstanding player for us and was having a solid senior year before his injury last season,” Buford High School head coach Mike Wells said. “C.J.’s a versatile player who can play about any place on the football field.
“He’s an impact player in that he can perform no matter where you play him on either side of the football,” Wells said. “He will let you know he’s there by making a big hit or a big play.
“I know he’s worked hard to receive this chance to play and he’s worked to be ready to play college football,” Wells said.
“Gaffney (Limestone’s location) is a football town,” Blackmon said. “I’m very excited and ready for this opportunity in my life.”
Blackmon said he plans to major in criminal justice.
“That’s what I want to do and they have a good program there,” Blackmon said.
Blackmon’s mother, Lori Blackmon, said she’s elated with her son’s chance to continue his education and resume his football career.
“I’m proud of him and I want him to stay as focused as he is now,” she said.