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(VIDEO) From Punch To Pro - NFL Looks Past A Fight In Boise For LaGarrette Blount

Posted by Jackson Anthony on 10/5/2010 5:30:00 PM

September 3, 2009 was supposed to be the start of a phenomenal college football betting season for the Oregon Ducks. A number 16 preseason national ranking, three players up for award nominations, and a new head coach.

The Ducks scheduled a season-opener at No.14 Boise State that would no doubt be a difficult nonconference game. In front of just over 34,000 fans, the Boise State Broncos played some of the best defense I have seen in a long time.

With one of the strongest rushing attacks in the nation, senior tailback LaGarrette Blount, was named to the watchlist for the 2009 Walter Camp Award given to the Player of the Year in college football.

Blount however, would have some unexpected trouble against an unusually stout Broncos defense. After rushing for over 1,000 yards in 2008, Blount was suffocated, rushing for -5 yards on eight carries, the worst performance of his collegiate career.

To make matters worse, the Ducks would lose the game by a final score of 19-8, potentially ending Oregon's hopes of a national title run all-too-soon. With the final whistle sounding, frustrations set-in. Some pushing and shoving ensued between the two sides but, the worst physical confrontation of all was about to occur.

As Blount was making his way back to the Oregon sideline, a swell of Boise State players engulfed the frustrated tailback. After getting his pads slapped and receiving some trash talk from Broncos player Byron Hout, the Oregon running back snapped. He approached Hout from the side and introduced him to a right jab that crumbled the 6'0" 240 pound defensive end.

The ramification for Blount's actions, was a year long suspension, ending his collegiate career. Luckily for Blount, he was issued reinstatment into NCAA football betting after a ten game suspension was served.

Blount's punch undoubedtly damaged his chances of being drafted into the NFL, as he was no where to be found on the 2010 NFL Draft Board. However, before the 2010-11 NFL betting season began, Blount was contacted by the Tennessee Titans.

The young running back performed well enough to get noticed by head coach Jeff Fisher and made the cut for the final 53-man roster. It wasn't too long however, before Blount's history would repeat itself.

After getting his helmet torn off in practice, Blount punched fellow teammate Eric Bakhtiari in the facemask. Blount was not punished for these actions, as head coach Jeff Fisher stated that these fights are a typical part of any NFL team's training camp. But given the running back's troubled history, maybe more should have been made of this particular incident.

Blount was ultimately released by the Titans on September 5, 2010 but, acquired the following day by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The troubled running back received his first NFL start in week 3 rushing for 27 yards and a touchdown.

The rookie running back has obviously demonstrated difficulty controlling his temper. With two on-field punches thrown within a year, Blount needs some help. I am happy to see that he has been able to move forward with his career and life but, I don't believe we have seen the last of Blount's anger.

The NFL and its franchises needs to look closely at how they can help potentially rehabilitate players like Blount.

Should it have been so easy for Blount to make his path to the NFL? Does the NFL care enough about the troubled history of certain players.

 

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