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Thursday, December 20, 2012
Marshall signee Blackmon ready to go

By Damon Sayles

Defensive end Arnold Blackmon (Corsicana, Texas/Navarro College) signed with Marshall on Wednesday morning. Knowing that his college future would extend past the junior college circuit was enough for him to smile.

Blackmon once wondered whether he would pick up an FBS offer, let alone sign with an FBS school. He chose Marshall over offers from Kansas State, Kansas, New Mexico and Old Dominion. He signed at 8:20 a.m. CT and is ready to showcase his skills to the fans in Huntington, W.Va.

“I’m just looking forward to getting up in the middle of things and trying to get a head start,” said Blackmon, a 6-foot-2, 240-pound defensive end who will be a midyear juco transfer. “I’m excited to be a part of the team. They said they’re in dire need of a pass rusher, and they put me at top of their list. I felt like I can get the most exposure there.”

Blackmon took an official visit to Marshall the weekend of Dec. 7, and his player host was defensive lineman James Rouse. That trip allowed him to spend time with future teammates and coaches, and he knew then that Marshall was home.

“I sat and talked with my mom and pops about everything, and they thought it’d be best for me to go on a visit to Houston, just in case,” Blackmon said. “It was a good experience and good for me to compare the two, but I knew Marshall was the place for me.

“They’re just genuine people there. They’ve shown me so much love since they started recruiting me. I’ve got multiple letters from them and calls from them, and when they couldn’t call, I’d call them.”

Blackmon was a second-team, all-Southwest Junior College Football Conference defensive end for Navarro this past season, recording 44 tackles, a team-high eight sacks and three pass breakups. He was recruited to Marshall by defensive line coach J.C. Price.