If you don’t watch college football, you most likely wouldn’t be able to tell he is one of the top tight ends in the Southeastern Conference, arguably the most elite conference in college football. Because of his crisp route running, receiving, and blocking at the point of attack, he is one of the most promising tight ends and has won admiration from Georgia fans to college game day analysts and everyone in between. After one interview, it was apparent Jeb Blazevich was not like most football players. While football and academics steal most of his time, he chooses to spend his rare unoccupied hours relaxing to the peaceful sounds of the river with close friends or exploring the Georgia countryside. At just twenty years old, the sky is the limit for Jeb Blazevich.
Everything started in the seventh grade, when Jeb first found a love for the game. Over the next two years, he practiced day in and day out until he earned a spot on the varsity football team at Charlotte Christian School as a freshman. Over the next four years, he made a name for himself as one of the best tight end recruits, not just in North Carolina, but also in the nation. He finished his career with 104 receptions for 1,520 yards, with 15 touchdowns and helped lead his team to an undefeated season. Looking back on everything he accomplished at Charlotte Christian, it was winning the state championships with his team that he credits to be the biggest highlight of his high school career. “Each team was different, but it was full of team effort both years, and the best two years of my life,” recalls Jeb.
These prodigious stats brought waves of recruiters from some of the top programs, including the participants in that year’s national championship, the University of Alabama and the University of Notre Dame. But, after careful consideration, he committed to the University of Georgia on April 23, 2013. According to Jeb, he liked the way Georgia used their tight ends and felt confident he would play a key role in their offense. The reputable academics and his ability to bond with fellow teammates from the start also contributed to his final decision.
After graduating in May 2014, it was a quick transition to becoming a student-athlete in Athens. By the beginning of June, he was living in a dorm, and working with his new teammates and coaching staff preparing for the upcoming season. They battled through the scorching Georgia sun for weeks on end, until the opening week had finally arrived. Fighting through the competition, Jeb was not redshirted and saw his first start against the Troy Trojans. In front of 92,746 roaring Georgia fans, he caught two passes for 26 yards. After that performance, he was named an official starter. He finished the season with 18 receptions, 269 yards, 2 touchdowns, and the team’s longest reception of the year when he caught a 50-yard pass from running back Todd Gurley against Vanderbilt.
Suddenly, he had captured the nation’s attention and was being looked at as one of the best up and coming tight ends. But going from a star tight end at the high school level, to becoming an offensive threat in college took a lot of work. Countless hours were spent in the gym getting bigger and stronger, perfecting routes to ensure he was prepared if Hutson Mason threw the ball his direction, and analyzing film so he could read defenses and predict their moves before the ball was snapped. Throughout the season, he pushed his body to its limit and ultimately, it paid off. Georgia closed the season playing the Louisville Cardinals in the Belk Bowl. Jeb came back to his hometown of Charlotte to play in front of his family and friends. Additionally, Georgia stole the win over Louisville 37-14 and with every catch he made, the atmosphere changed and the fans erupted in cheers, proud of their hometown hero.
What most people might not know, is that while he dedicated himself to football, he also spent a tremendous amount of time making sure his grades exceeded the standard set by the NCAA. He was determined to rise above the 2.0 GPA required for athletes, and after applying the determination and persistence he learned on the football field, finished the year on the UGA J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Honor Roll.
When asked about how he handles the pressure of being a college athlete and knowing hundreds of thousands of eyes are on his every step during games, he replied, “No pressure! I’m just a servant of God who can run and catch pretty well.” One of the many aspects that makes Jeb different than other college athletes is his strong faith, selflessness, and his desire to use all of the talents God gave him for His glory.
From a young age, being a successful college athlete was not the life he had imagined, instead he planned on giving his life to the Lord and following His path. Jeb has been very fortunate to have three role models in his life - his dad, and two brothers, Davis and Parker. “They’ve shown me what it means to be Godly men in a seemingly Godless world,” he conveyed.
Since entering high school, Jeb’s life has been filled with victory both on and off the field. He made a name for himself in high school as not just the most talented tight end Charlotte Christian has ever seen, but also one of the most god-fearing men that, two years after graduating, continues to inspire students. In response to the endless recognition he has received in college, his character has not wavered; he is still the humble, generous, and charismatic man people remember him to be.
The future of Georgia football is bright, with a very promising 2016 recruiting class to be led by five-star quarterback Jacob Eason, and Jeb hopes this will mean more wins, and hopefully, a national championship. It seems that as of right now, the stars are aligning for him to be a prospect in the 2018 NFL draft, and, as long as he gets picked in an early round, Georgia fans can count on seeing their favorite tight end make the transition to catching touchdowns on Sundays.
Jeb's Advice: I would say follow Christ, and everything else will fall into place. I never planned on getting here, but God did and I trust Him.