Growing up the shortest of all his brothers, Julian Blackmon always wanted to make a name of his own. His older brother, Jarriesse, plays basketball at UC Santa Barbara. While the two were in high school together, Julian was drawing comparisons to Jarriesse, but he decided to make the switch to focus on football.
“He really helped me a lot just growing up,” said Blackmon. “I think that’s a big reason why I’m at where I’m at today is because of him.”
Playing multiple sports in high school has helped Blackmon get to where he is today. “Being able to play all those different sports just proves that you’re more of an athlete because you can do more,” he said. “I did track, that helped me with my conditioning. Basketball helped me with my man to man. I even played baseball, which helped with my hand-eye coordination. Everything really correlates to the football field and gives you an advantage.”
Blackmon was a surprise to most last season as a true freshman. He slowly worked his way up in the depth chart during the season after an impressive fall camp. He had shining moments and moments that he’s learned from.
“Technique, technique, technique,” said Blackmon. “That’s what Coach tells me everyday. Just work on my technique and everyday I work on my technique with my friends and it’s really coming along. I’m starting to get the defense and we’re looking pretty good.”
In high school, Blackmon played both wide receiver and cornerback at Layton High School. He was injured three games into his senior season, but finished with four receptions for 108 yards. Those hand skills he plans to keep, as he’ll once again be returning kicks on special teams.
Staying in Utah was an easy choice for Blackmon, especially considering he gets to play in front of friends and family every weekend. He has big plans for the type of legacy that he wants to continue to build within the Utes program.
“Utah kids can play with anyone,” said Blackmon. “There’s a lot of hype about a lot of things just being out of state but it don’t really mean nothing. If you can play, you can play. I just gotta make a statement for everyone from Utah. I just wanna prove that we can all do it.“
With a chip on his shoulder, Blackmon is ready to make that statement immediately in 2017.