LOCALS IN THE NFL

Former Utah Safety Julian Blackmon Unwrapped Surprise Rookie Season In 2020

Dec 25, 2020, 10:00 AM

Julian Blackmon - Indianapolis Colts...

Julian Blackmon #32 of the Indianapolis Colts poses after he intercepted a pass against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on October 04, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. The Colts defeated the Bears 19-11. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former Utah Utes and current Indianapolis Colts safety Julian Blackmon unwrapped a special and surprising rookie campaign this season.

The Colts first selected Blackmon with the 85th overall pick during the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Now if you listen to the Yards After College Podcast, you’ve probably heard that I’m a fan of the Colts.

After Indianapolis drafted Blackmon, I followed his journey not only on a professional level but also on a personal one.

The former Utah standout surprised me, not only by his play as a first-year player but the fact that he got onto the field so quickly.

If we flashback to December 2019, Blackmon suffered a season-ending knee injury during the Pac-12 title game.

With that injury in mind and Indianapolis already having a starter in Malik Hooker at safety, I expected Blackmon to play late in his rookie season and the Colts to bring him along slowly.

Plans changed quickly.

Hooker suffered a season-ending injury during the Colts’ second game of the season.

Blackmon was thrust into the starting lineup and he hasn’t disappointed all season long.

In 13 games this season, the former Ute has 35 solo tackles, 28 solo tackles, one forced fumble, two interceptions, and six pass breakups.

Blackmon has helped the Colts to a 10-4 start and a potential playoff berth.

He is a candidate for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Despite suffering a significant injury 12 months ago, Blackmon emerged as a star for the Colts and unwrapped a surprise rookie season.

Kyle Ireland is a Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on Twitter (@kyleireland) and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

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Former Utah Safety Julian Blackmon Unwrapped Surprise Rookie Season In 2020