"Up Close" with Jeff Blanchard
When a player suffers two season-ending injuries, people like to focus on the negative side of things, but for redshirt-senior running back Jeff Blanchard, it has been a successful journey off and on the field. Graduating last December with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, Blanchard is now back in school working on his second degree in English while he plays his final year of college football.
Starting off his playing career at Garden City Community College in Kansas, Blanchard played two years out in the Midwest before coming to Florida Atlantic Football. Rushing for 1,266 yards and nine TDs in his second season with the team, Blanchard earned All-Jayhawk Conference Team honors after leading the conference in rushing. Blanchard then signed with the Owls in 2007 and took to the field for the first four games, before breaking his ankle and receiving a medical redshirt. Blanchard recovered from the injury and played in all 12 games in the 2008 season rushing for 57 yards and a touchdown.
A knee injury in the first week of spring practice caused Blanchard to miss the 2009 season, and receiver another medical redshirt while recovering. Now entering the 2010 season and fall practice, Blanchard is set to rotate back-up duties behind sophomore running back Alfred Morris. That shouldn’t be too much of a problem for the 24 year-old running back, as he has had quite the journey throughout his football career and is hoping for an injury-free successful senior year.
Blanchard recently sat down with us for “Up Close”.
What is your favorite food?
What is your pet peeve?
“Someone being late.”
Who is your current off the field role model?
“My mother, because she pretty much raised me by herself and she has so much determination.”
What are you most proud of?
“Graduating college. I graduated last December with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.”
What is your major?
“I’m working on a second degree in English.”
What is your Faith?
Line of scrimmage
What aspect of your game do you feel is your strength?
“Competing, running hard and being a team player.”
What aspect of your game do you feel is your weakness?
“Mental errors. I might sometimes line up in the wrong formation and the coaches have been getting on me for that.”
Down the field
Besides football, what brought you to FAU?
“Education, the coaches, and being close to my family. I started off in Kansas and I transferred here so my family could come to every game and support me. I didn’t like Kansas, it was a culture shock.”
What are your goals for the upcoming season?
“To win the conference championship, stay healthy the whole season and to go to a bowl game.
What game are you looking forward to the most next season?
“Troy. I have a lot teammates that played junior-college ball with me in Kansas, that play or played at Troy. They talk a lot of smack through the internet, text messages and phone calls. I played with linebacker Daniel Sheffield, and running back Maurice Greer, but he graduated."
What do you want FAU fans to know about you personally?
“I love football, I’m determined to go hard for the fans and bring them a conference championship.”
Coming up, our next player’s best game in high school was when he recorded three sacks and 11 tackles against a rival school.