BYU football: Suspension over, Blackmon eager to contribute
Provo • If receiver Devon Blackmon is bitter about being suspended in BYU's opener last week against UConn, he is doing a good job hiding it.
Blackmon, the transfer from Riverside (Calif.) College who redshirted at Oregon in 2011 and appeared in three games for the Ducks in 2012, spoke publicly for the first time on Wednesday as the Cougars continued preparations for Texas on Saturday (5:30 p.m. MDT, Fox Sports 1).
"It was a learning process, just like anything that we deal with," Blackmon said of the suspension. "I am going to bounce back and be stronger. Coach [Bronco Mendenhall] told me I couldn't do that, and it won't happen again, basically."
Back on Aug. 11, when he announced his suspension via Twitter, Blackmon wrote: "We have standards, and there's consequences if you don't follow them. I shouldn't wear earrings, but I will bounce back."
Was it really that? He missed a game for wearing earrings?
"Just don't announce team consequences on social media because that causes more negative attention to the team," Blackmon responded when asked what Mendenhall told him he couldn't do. "That was my fault I don't want to cause negative attention to the team. It [has to be] a positive light on everybody."
Whatever the case, Blackmon said he has moved on and is adjusting to a lifestyle and culture much different than the one he experienced growing up in Fontana, Calif.
"Things have been great so far, just adapting to the culture and getting [acquainted] with everybody, and being a part of a team and following the rules," he said. "I feel like I am adapting well."
Running back Jamaal Williams, who was also suspended for the opener for violating the school's honor code, is also from Fontana, Calif., but the roles are reversed, Blackmon said.
At Summit High, Blackmon showed Williams the ropes. "But up here, he's like my older brother," Blackmon said.
The three defensive players who were suspended for the opener nose tackle Marques Johnson and cornerbacks Jordan Johnson and Robertson Daniel have not granted any interviews since the first week of preseason camp.
All five players are expected to make the trip to Texas and all five should play, Mendenhall said Monday.
"That is day-by-day and it will be the entire season, in terms of behavior and what they have to do to live up to the contracts they have with me," Mendenhall said.
Langi should play
Harvey Langi, the former University of Utah running back who transferred to BYU after a church mission and is now playing linebacker, made the trip to UConn but did not play against the Huskies. He expects to play against the Longhorns. Tuesday, Langi explained why he transferred to BYU.
"A lot of spiritual things and personal things. So I feel like this is the best place for me to succeed as an athlete and as a man," he said.
Mendenhall, defensive coordinator Nick Howell and offensive coordinator Robert Anae all addressed the Cougars' penalty situation this week, and all three said they are not awfully concerned that BYU was penalized 15 times for 150 yards against UConn.
"And I am sure there will probably be many that want blood from that," Mendenhall said. "Much like I thought, there is tons of aggression out there. I would rather have that and bring it back than the penalties being because of lack of technique or lack of effort or being lazy. It was actually the opposite, where there was an extra grab or pull or trying to throw a guy down. So it will be easy to bring those back, within reason. And then, just highlighting the impact of that penalty in front of the entire team."
Anae said he is trying to get the offensive line to "play cleaner" after that unit was hit with several yellow flags.
"I do believe with penalties, the key to that is walking that thin line of playing hard, being aggressive, and then pulling up when it is time to pull up. We were not as polished in that regard," Anae said.
Blackmon played with Texas cornerback Quandre Diggs in the 2011 Under Armour All-America game. â¦ BYU leads the all-time series against Texas 3-1. â¦ Nine Cougars are from the state of Texas: Trey Dye, Tejan Koroma, Ross Apo, Teu Kautai, Harvey Jackson, Garrett Juergens, Mitchell Juergens, Jordan Leslie and Michael Yeck.
BYU at Texas
Saturday, 5:30 MDT
TV • Fox Sports 1