Blount with the New England Patriots in 2014
|No. 29 New England Patriots|
|Date of birth:||December 5, 1986|
|Place of birth:||Perry, Florida|
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||250 lb (113 kg)|
|High school:||Perry (FL) Taylor County|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 13, 2016|
LeGarrette Montez Blount (born December 5, 1986) is an American football running back for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He won Super Bowl XLIX with the Patriots over the Seattle Seahawks. He entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Tennessee Titans in 2010, but joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before the start of the 2010 NFL season. He also played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2014, between his two spells with the Patriots.
Blount rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of his two seasons in junior college. He then committed to the Oregon Ducks football program as a junior, for the 2008 season. That year he ran for over 1,000 yards and scored a school record 17 touchdowns.
After the opening game of the 2009 season, Blount was suspended for punching a Boise State University opponent and angrily confronting fans after the nationally televised season-opening loss. Though the suspension was announced to be for the remainder of the season, due to his meeting of specific criteria set by the football staff, he was eventually reinstated after missing eight games.
Early life and high school career
Blount was born December 5, 1986, in Madison, Florida, to Gary and Barbara Blount. He has one brother and one sister. Blount is the great-nephew of avant-garde jazz musician Sun Ra (born Herman Blount). He attended Taylor County High School in the small town of Perry, Florida, where he was a two-sport star in both football and track. In high school football, he was a four-year starter and three-time 1,000-yard rusher. He first reached the milestone as a sophomore and equaled the feat the following season despite playing with a thigh bruise for most of the year. He accorded second-team All-state player honors as a prep senior. In track & field, Blount competed in events such as the 100-meter dash (11.34 s), the long jump (22-1 or 6.75m) and the shot put (53-2 or 16.22m). He was also a member of the 4 × 100 m squad.
Considered only a two-star recruit by both Rivals.com and Scout.com, Blount was not ranked among the best running back prospects in the nation in 2005. Barely recruited out of high school, he attended camp at Auburn University but was not offered an athletic scholarship. He nonetheless intended to go to Auburn but did not qualify academically, so he headed for junior college.
East Mississippi Community College
While at East Mississippi Community College in Scooba, Mississippi, Blount rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his two seasons, accumulating 367 carries for 2,292 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns. Among his career highlights was a 273-yard performance with three scores in a win over Northeast Mississippi Community College during his freshman year; he led the state of Mississippi in rushing yards with 1,106 as early as October 2006. Blount was rated as the No. 1 junior college prospect by The Clarion-Ledger and received Junior College All-American honors.
By the end of his sophomore year, Blount had become one of the highest ranked junior college prospects. He was named the nation's top junior college running back and the No. 12 overall prospect in the Rivals.com Junior College Top 100. Blount was heavily recruited by several high-major schools, including Florida State and West Virginia. He committed to Oregon in December 2007. Oregon coaches said Blount reminded them of Reuben Droughns.
Blount entered his junior year at Oregon sharing the running back role with senior Jeremiah Johnson. The two backs lived together, and the talkative Johnson advised Blount in his first Pac-10 season. For Blount, it was the first season in which he split time with another running back, and his reaction was mixed. The two backs each contributed nearly 100 yards and three touchdowns in an early 63–14 win over the Washington State Cougars, and both again performed well in a late season victory over the Oregon State Beavers. But Blount brought lackluster performances to games against USC and Cal. Overall, Blount rushed for 17 touchdowns, setting a single-season school record, and 1,002 yards. Blount and Johnson became only the second duo in team history to both clear 1,000 rushing yards in the same season; Johnson led the team with 1,201 yards.
Blount responded fairly well to the suspension, improving his attendance in both academic and athletic pursuits. He was reinstated by newly appointed head coach Chip Kelly in March. He attended some, but not all, voluntary workouts during the off-season, but was praised for an improved attitude by fellow members of the football program. He arrived at training camp in better physical shape than in 2008. At 243 pounds (110 kg), he was somewhat above his optimal weight, but was slimming down, and aiming for a 2,000 yard season. Blount was named to the watch lists for the Walter Camp Award and the Doak Walker Award for the 2009 season.
Boise State incident
|Wikinews has related news: Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount's college football career ends with a punch|
The Ducks opened their 2009 season with a 19–8 loss to the Boise State Broncos. Blount ended the game with negative yardage (−8). Blount had been interviewed by a Sports Illustrated reporter earlier in the summer and was asked about the excessive late hits in the 2008 game in Eugene between Oregon and Boise State. He had been quoted that because of the way Boise State beat Oregon in Eugene they "owed them an ass-whoopin'." In the 2008 game, Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli was forced to leave the game after taking a helmet to the chin on a late hit by a Boise State defender. Oregon lost that game but the late hits were a topic of discussion as the teams prepared for the season opener against each other. Shortly after the game's end, Boise State defensive player Byron Hout came up to Blount during the team's handshakes and said, "How's that for an ass-whoopin'?" Blount punched Hout, knocking him to the ground. Blount then hit teammate Garrett Embry, who was attempting to restrain him, in the helmet.
As he was escorted to the locker room, Blount confronted Boise State fans who were jeering at him after seeing the video replay. Blount says that one Boise State fan brandished a chair at him and another punched him. Two police officers and Oregon assistant coach Scott Frost restrained Blount and escorted him into the locker room. Video of the incident spread rapidly on the Internet.
Blount apologized after the incident saying, "I just apologize to everybody that was watching this — ESPN, national TV — I just apologize to all of our fans, all the Boise fans. It was just something that I shouldn't have done. I lost my head, and I shouldn't have taken it that far."
Oregon coach Chip Kelly suspended Blount for the rest of the 2009 season. According to the Associated Press, "On Friday [Kelly] told a sobbing Blount of his decision: That punch would cost Blount the season, and ultimately his career with the Ducks. 'He understands that his actions are unacceptable. We will not put up with that.' Kelly said." Blount was not dismissed from the team, however, and would be permitted to attend practice and retain his scholarship.
Chip Kelly consulted with Oregon officials in advance of Blount's suspension. Afterward, the Pac-10 expressed support for the suspension. Kelly stated that he made his judgment based on the entire event and had not theorized how it would have changed had only certain parts of the incident occurred.
Following the announcement of Blount's punishment, a number of sports writers and analysts questioned whether or not suspension for the entire season was excessive. Wrote analyst Tom Dienhart: "But did Blount's punishment (banned from games the rest of the season) fit the crime? Blount should have been benched for three to five games, giving him a break for being in an emotional spot after being provoked by Hout."
Blount called Hout and Petersen to apologize on September 5. Kelly participated in the calls. Hout was not suspended for his taunting, though Petersen stated that he did receive disciplinary action. Petersen accepted the apology as sincere, and expressed the wish that Blount would be able to go on playing football, and that many parties would learn from the experience.
Blount was given the opportunity to continue practicing with the team but was not at the first practice due to unspecified obligations. However, Blount was on the sidelines at practice the following day and began practice with the scout team a week later.
On October 1, an apology letter from Blount was published in the Oregon school newspaper the Oregon Daily Emerald. Later that day, the Oregon Athletic Department released a statement indicating that a plan that could reinstate Blount to the team was under consideration. The next day, head coach Chip Kelly announced that if Blount meets certain guidelines, he could return for the November 7 game against the Stanford Cardinal. Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott responded that the conference alone had the power to reinstate Blount and would take Oregon's appeal under consideration if it occurred.
Blount was not reinstated in time for the Stanford game, but two days after the Ducks' loss to Stanford, the Ducks requested, and the Pac-10 approved, Blount's reinstatement for the Ducks' November 14 game against Arizona State. Blount released a statement thanking head coach Kelly for showing that he "cares enough to offer me this second chance" and that it was up to Blount to "prove to people that their lasting impressions of me are not what they saw in Boise." Blount suited up for the Arizona State and Arizona games, but since his replacement, LaMichael James, was playing so well, Blount did not see any playing time in those games.
In their final game of the season, the Civil War against rival Oregon State, the Ducks trailed by nine points in the third quarter. Blount came into the game for James and several plays later, scored on a 12-yard run to bring the Ducks within two points. Blount ended up rushing for 51 yards in the game and the Ducks would go on to win the game 37–33 and earn a berth in the 2010 Rose Bowl against Ohio State.
|Sept. 3||Boise State||8||−5||0||−0.6||2||13||0||6.5||13||0|
|suspended until November 14|
|Nov. 14||Arizona State||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0|
|Dec. 3||Oregon State||9||51||1||5.7||0||0||0||0.0||51||1|
|Jan. 1, 2010||2010 Rose Bowl||5||36||1||7.2||0||0||0||0.0||36||0|
2010 NFL Draft
|Ht||Wt||40-yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert||Broad||BP||Wonderlic|
|6 ft 0⅜ in||241 lb||4.59 s||1.61 s||2.56 s||4.49 s||6.85 s||35 in||9 ft 9 in||18 reps||16|
|All values from NFL Combine, 40-yard dash from Pro Day|
Blount was not drafted in the 2010 NFL Draft but agreed in principle to a free agent contract with the San Francisco 49ers following the draft. However, after a meeting with Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher, Blount decided to sign as an undrafted free agent with the Titans instead. In August 2010, Blount was involved in another incident in which he threw a punch, this time with a Tennessee Titans teammate, defensive end Eric Bakhtiari, a few moments after having his own helmet ripped off in practice. The play ended with some pushing and shoving, Blount threw a right fist, contacting Bakhtiari's facemask. Blount quickly talked to Titans Head Coach Jeff Fisher before leaving the field. "He apologized, and I said he didn't have to apologize," Fisher said. "It's football. It's training camp." "His past is his past. Is that the first punch you've seen in camp this year? No. I'm not disappointed whatsoever. I have great confidence in the young man that he learned from his mistake, and he's very competitive. That's why we brought him in here is to watch him run the football like that," Fisher said. Blount survived the final roster cut and was placed on the Titans' 53 man roster. Blount was then waived to make room for veteran linebackers Tim Shaw (Chicago Bears) and Patrick Bailey (Pittsburgh Steelers). Titans sources indicated that Blount would be signed to the rookie practice squad if Blount cleared waivers. Blount was waived on September 5, 2010.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
On September 6, 2010, Blount was claimed off of waivers by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He played in his first regular-season NFL game in a week three 38–13 home loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, gaining 27 yards on six rushes and scoring one touchdown. This is around the same time that Blount was pulled over for smoking cannabis in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, just seven miles north of the city On October 31, 2010, Blount recorded his breakout game as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. He accumulated 120 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns on 22 carries, and 9 receiving yards in the Buccaneers' 38–35 victory against the Arizona Cardinals. Highlighting the performance was a late game 43-yard run in which Blount hurdled approaching player Kerry Rhodes. At the end of his rookie season, Blount had played in 13 games and accumulated 1,007 rushing yards, which was the most by a rookie in the 2010 NFL season. Blount became the second undrafted running back in NFL history to accumulate 1000 yards in his rookie year (Dominic Rhodes was the first).
Blount started off the 2011 season with only 5 carries for 15 yards against the Detroit Lions. The next week Blount reestablished his strong running ability with 13 carries for 71 yards and two touchdowns against the Minnesota Vikings. This includes the game-winning touchdown with 30 seconds left to play. In week 5 in a game with the 49ers, Blount injured his knee after accumulating only 15 yards rushing and was forced to miss weeks 6 and 7. Blount would ultimately return for the matchup with the New Orleans Saints. On November 20, 2011, Blount broke free from eight Green Bay Packers tacklers and scored on a 54-yard touchdown run.
New England Patriots
On December 29, 2013, Blount led the Patriots to a playoff bye with a win over the Buffalo Bills by rushing for 189 yards on 24 carries scoring 2 TDs and returning 2 kickoffs for 145 yards with a long of 83 yards. Blount set a franchise record for all-purpose yards with 334 yards. His performance earned him NFL Ground Player of the Week honors. Blount finished the season with 772 rushing yards and a career-high 7 touchdowns.
On March 28, 2014, Blount signed a two-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers. On August 20, 2014, Blount and fellow Steeler running back Le'Veon Bell were arrested for marijuana possession. On September 7, 2014, Blount scored his first touchdown as a Steeler against the Cleveland Browns. On September 21, 2014, Blount ran for 118 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers. This game was the only 100-plus game of the season. On November 17, 2014, Blount left the game against the Tennessee Titans early. Blount was subsequently released by the Steelers as a result of his actions. Blount finished his short-term Steelers tenure with 266 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Second stint with Patriots
On November 23, 2014, Blount's first game back with New England concluded in 78 yards on 12 carries and 2 touchdowns in a 34-9 victory over the Detroit Lions. On December 14, 2014, Blount scored his 3rd touchdown with the Patriots on the season against the Miami Dolphins. In his second season with Patriots, Blount rushed 60 times for 281 yards and 3 touchdowns. Although he had a relatively quiet game in the divisional round of the playoffs against the staunch Baltimore Ravens rushing defense running for only a yard on 3 carries, Blount rebounded against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game with 30 carries for 148 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns, as New England routed the Indianapolis Colts 45-7. In doing so, he became the New England Patriots' franchise leader in postseason rushing touchdowns with 7. At Super Bowl XLIX, Blount rushed 14 times for 40 yards as the Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24.
On April 7, 2015, it was announced that Blount had been suspended for the first game of the 2015 season due to a violation of the league's substance abuse policy during his stint with the Steelers.
On September 27, 2015, Blount scored a career-high 3 rushing touchdowns on 18 carries for 78 yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars. On October 11, 2015, Blount ran for 74 yards on 13 carries against the Dallas Cowboys. On October 18, 2016, Blount ran for 93 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown, as well as catching his first receiving touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts. Blount ran for a 38-yard score in that game. On October 29, 2015, Blount rushed 17 times for 72 yards against the Miami Dolphins. On November 8, 2015, Blount ran for a season-high 129 yards on 29 carries and a touchdown against the Washington Redskins. On November 15, 2015, Blount ran for 66 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown against the New York Giants. On December 15, 2015, it was reported that Blount was added to the Patriots' injured/reserved list for the remainder of the season after suffering a left hip injury during the previous game against the Houston Texans. He ended the season having racked up 165 carries, 703 rushing yards, and 6 rushing touchdowns in 12 games.
On September 11, 2016, Blount recorded 70 yards and a touchdown on 22 rushes against the Arizona Cardinals in the season opener. On September 18, 2016, Blount broke out with 123 yards on 29 carries and a touchdown in a 31-24 victory over the Miami Dolphins. On September 22, 2016, Blount carried the ball 24 times for 105 yards and scored 2 touchdowns in the Patriots' 27-0 shutout of the Houston Texans. Blount ran for a 41-yard score in that game. Blount's 298 rushing yards in the first three games of the 2016 season were most in the league and he would later be named AFC Offensive Player of the Month for September. On October 9, 2016, Blount scored his 5th touchdown of the season against the Cleveland Browns. And on October 16, 2013, he scored his 6th against the Cincinnati Bengals. In Blount's first return to Pittsburgh since being released in 2014 on October 23, 2016, Blount ran for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns on 24 carries, en route to a 27-16 Patriots win against the Pittsburgh Steelers. On October 30, 2016, Blount ran for his 9th touchdown of the season against the Buffalo Bills, his 9 touchdowns led the league in rushing touchdowns in Week 8. Blount had a huge game rushing for 3 TDs in the week 10 loss against the Seattle Seahawks (Nov 13, 2016) and extends his lead in rushing touchdowns at 12 so far on the season.
|Year||Team||Games Played||Attempts||Yards||Average||Long||Touchdowns||First Downs||Fumbles||Fumbles Lost|
|Year||Team||Games Played||Rec||Targets||Yards||Average||Long||Touchdowns||First Downs||Fumbles||Fumbles Lost|
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