Jeremy Blount: Finding purpose outside of football
National Scouting Combine
South Dakota Coyotes
Five years later I sit here reminiscing about the development of our first National Scouting Combine. This event would be held at the University of Akron’s Stile Athletic Field House. This would be the biggest event we had organized to date and it was my goal to create something that would bring a unique experience to athletes not invited to the NFL Combine. As we began the process of putting together the event and all the details, the one thing that would make or break this event was finding the right talent. This is where I was lucky enough to meet Jeremy Blount and his journey to Akron might someday be worthy of a short film. to this date, I am yet to see a faster athlete in person than Jeremy and his run was nothing less than spectacular… he ran an official 4.25 laser timed 40 yard dash!!! Needless to say this opportunity opened doors to the CFL.
YOU WERE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE INATIONAL SCOUTING COMBINE. TELL US ABOUT THAT EXPERIENCE (COMPARED TO OTHERS?). WOULD YOU RECOMMEND IT TO ASPIRING PRO ATHLETES?
When I was invited to the combine my finances were so low that I paid and then a couple days later I tried to get a refund. Another teammate of mine’s, we decided to take that chance and just go but, we ran into another obstacle, we had no ride to Akron Ohio. One of our offensive Lineman drove all the way from Albert Lea Minnesota back to Vermilion South Dakota to give us a ride. I believe to this day was a blessing from God. If it wasn’t for him my career would’ve stopped at USD, grateful!
WHAT WERE YOUR GOALS WHEN YOU GOT TO SOUTH DAKOTA? DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ACHIEVED THEM?
When I arrived at the University of South Dakota my first priority was to play as a true freshman. Also to break records and be recognized as the greatest kick return/punt returner to ever step foot in the Dakota Dome and I accomplished that.
AS A “SMALL SCHOOL ATHLETE”, HOW DID YOU SEPARATE YOURSELF FROM THE BIG SCHOOL ATHLETES?
I knew the challenges were going to be there if I wanted to go to the next level. I understood that the smaller the school the smaller recognition so I approached every game like it was my last.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST MEMORY FROM HIGH SCHOOL/COLLEGE/PRO SO FAR?
My greatest memory in high school was when I won the MVP award in the intense rivalry in Tampa, Florida; Blake high school versus Middleton high school in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stadium my sophomore year. My greatest memory in college was when we played Eastern Washington, they were ranked #1 in the nation coming off a division 1AA Championship year. I racked up over 300 all-purpose yards. My greatest memory in the CFL was my first kick return which was only 38 yards but that was my first time receiving a professional kickoff return.
WHO IS THE TOUGHEST PLAYER YOU HAVE FACED?
Russell Wilson, my senior year we played Wisconsin Badgers, they were ranked 3rd in the nation at the time. I didn’t play defense but watching him was amazing, we couldn’t stop him if we had our offense and defense men on the field at the same time.
HOW DO YOU INTERACT OR “GIVE BACK” TO THE COMMUNITY?
Today I speak to the younger generation, either athletes or students of all ages about the power of focus hard work and dedication. It’s imperative that you surround yourself around positive people who want to achieve positive goals.
“Today I speak to the younger generation, both athletes or students (of all ages) about the power of focus, hard work, and dedication. It’s imperative that you surround yourself with positive people who want to achieve positive goals.”
WHAT IMPACT HAS YOUR COACH HAD ON YOU? WHAT CAN YOU SHARE THAT HAS MADE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR GAME/LIFE?
My Little League coach always told us that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.I witnessed this firsthand when I made it to the professional level. Life is no different, what you reap, you will sow.
WHO HAS HAD THE BIGGEST IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE AND WHY?
In my younger days to my adult days my mother always had the biggest impact on my life. Being the biggest supporter the biggest motivator the most inspirational person I have ever met in real life! Without her instilling her faith in me I wouldn’t be the man I am today.
WHAT PLANS DO YOU HAVE FOR LIFE AFTER FOOTBALL? WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF TEN YEARS FROM NOW?
The transition out of football wasn’t easy at all. It took me years to find a new purpose in life. I have to read multiple inspirational books, motivational books, empowering books and tons of prayer. I needed to put all of that energy I had into football into a new passion and the solution was to “give back”, steer our younger generation in the right path because they are the next leaders of the world.
IF YOU COULD GO BACK AND GIVE THE YOUNGER VERSION OF YOURSELF SOME ADVICE, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
It’s crazy because in my life growing up in Tampa Florida it’s all about football, it was either football or nothing. I used football as a vehicle my whole life and that vehicle drove me all the way to Canada. But when that chapter was over it took some years to figure my life out. I would tell the younger me “give yourself options football is it promised”
PROVIDE OUR READERS A GLIMPSE OF WHO JEREMY BLOUNT IS AWAY FROM FOOTBALL? WHAT IS YOUR STORY?
My life actually started when I was released from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2012. I earned a federal prison sentence, I studied my inner self, self evaluation and years of self development. Today I am a man that supports his family his household, his wife and two kids. Today I walk the path of courage of strength and of unity to reach my ultimate goals as I study my past and understand my faults. I’ve made a honest choice to change to be accountable for my actions and commit to living a responsible lifestyle for my wife and kids. I AM “The Return Specialist” life after football!
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE SOUTH DAKOTA? WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO PLAY FOOTBALL (OR ANY SPORT) THERE?
The first reason I chose South Dakota over other schools was to put myself around new people, places, and things. Secondly, Coach Meierkort. He understood the type of environment I came from, he understood that everybody doesn’t make it out of that type of environment I come from. He gave me a chance to prove myself and in return I gave him four years of everything I had on the football field.
HOW WAS THE HIGH SCHOOL RECRUITING PROCESS FOR YOU?
After my senior year at USD I worked out every day I made sure I ate the right foods I kept my mind focused on my goal, surrounded myself around people that wanted The same dream I did.