Carving out his own legacy: Tray Blackmon Jr. signs to play football at the next level

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, May 17, 2023

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Tray Blackmon Jr. has carved out his own legacy on the football field. Away from his namesake’s shadow at Troup High, the senior safety/running back put together quite the career as a Tiger. Now, he is signing to play safety at Alderson Broaddus University in West Virginia.

“They really reached out and showed love to me,” Blackmon said. “They really wanted to bring me on campus, and it felt like the right fit.”

Blackmon had to look for the right opportunity that met his standards athletically, financially and academically, and he found that in West Virginia. It was a game of patience that turned into perseverance. 

“The recruiting process was a challenge,” Blackmon said. “[Alderson Broaddus] saw my work ethic and gave me a chance.”

The long trek to West Virginia does not worry Blackmon, who is looking forward to the change of scenery his college adventure will bring him.

He took his game to new levels in his senior season and put together what he said was his best season yet. On defense, his more natural side of the ball, he finished second on the team in tackles (44) and was third in the team in tackles for a loss with 4.5. 

“Being a part of this football team has meant everything to me, but it also comes with a lot of work,” Blackmon said. “Coach G(lisson) will have you working hard, and I think I was able to put together my best season yet.” 

It was not just plays on the field that made Blackmon standout, he also had to be a leader for the team as they lacked a large senior class on the football field. With his experience and football IQ, Blackmon made a natural leader on both sides of the ball.

“I knew I had to step up and be a leader,” Blackmon said. “It was important that I step up for the team this year, so I had to do it”

He also made plays on offense, finishing second in rushing touchdowns (5) and third in carries (74) and rushing yards (438). He also showed off his hands by reeling in six catches for 32 yards. Playing both sides of the ball is just another way Blackmon carved out his own football legacy in Troup County. 

“I played both sides of the ball and always tried to just be myself,” he said. 

When asked to take a bigger role on offense this season, Blackmon was fired up and he delivered, averaging 5.9 yards per carry, the highest mark on the team, for running backs with at least 30 carries last season.

While his father carved out his football legacy at LaGrange High, blue and gold are the colors the younger Blackmon wore. Blackmon is a Tiger through and through, and one of the main reasons he feels that way is the trust and faith head coach Tanner Glisson has placed in him over the years.

“Coach G(lisson) has been there for me anytime I need him,” he said. “Anytime I call, he answers the phone.”