West Point sophomore wide receiver Jordan Blackman uses his intellect to be a competitive force on the field. His skills made him a standout during his high school years with the St. Genevieve Valiants.
As a senior, his contributions on offense and defense aided the Valiants to a 11-2 overall record. As a corner, he made 50 solo tackles, 15 pass deflections, and six interceptions. On offense, Blackman had 207 rushing yards and 572 receiving yards that season.
“I was fast, but wasn’t the most physical kid,” he said. “I always had to be smart and be crafty and use my speed.”
Blackman built an impressive resume as a leader and a scholar during his time at St. Genevieve. While being team captain for the football and track and field team, Blackman maintained a 4.83 GPA while taking five AP classes. He was also elected Student Body President and became valedictorian. He had the responsibility to be a role model.
“I think that gave me a lot of leadership qualities and experience,” he said.
Calculus AB and BC were his favorite courses because the teacher would push him to improve. Blackman had this particular teacher for four years and he would visit his class to get help on assignments and projects.
“I’d go before practice and after practice just to learn and I was really good at it,” Blackman said. “There were also some things that I struggled through and I had to teach myself things as well and I’d have to put forth the effort to get help but it was always something that kept me interested.”
Attending West Point has been a humbling experience for Blackman. An athlete that earned an All-State selection in high school has been moved to the sidelines in college. Although Blackman still prepares for minutes on the field; waiting his turn has been challenging for him.
Since he began attending West Point, he has been gaining weight and developing his body.
“I haven’t seen any playing time like I hoped for,” Blackman said. “My coaching staff felt like I wasn’t ready, but they haven’t given up on me. They still expect a lot of things from me.”
In between his studies and training, Blackmon works as a student ambassador for an organization called L.E.A.D.S.: leadership, ethics, and diversity in STEM. The outreach organization allows West Point students of color to mentor youth.
“We help them program robots,” Blackman said. “Teach them about teamwork and how to code the robots.”
Another group that Blackmon is involved with is Team Impact, a program where a sports team welcomes a young child with a disability on their squad.
“We treat them as if he was one of our own teammates,” Blackman said. “He’s a really cool kid.”
In his youth, football was a refuge from his problems. As he pursues his passion for football and excels at his classes, he prioritized working with youth that shared a similar background as his.
“I honestly just fell in love with watching the game,” Blackman said. “I found great coaches and mentors and brothers that I played with that made the that much better and it was more than just a game to me at that point on.”
Do you know an athlete on honor roll who is a leader at their school? Email [email protected] to nominate your student. Cheerleaders and dance team members also qualify.