Players of The Pine Belt: Northeast Jones DB Damien Blankenship

Senior Defensive Back Damien Blankenship is one of those infectious guys that elevates a team.
Published: Jul. 24, 2023 at 11:12 PM CDT
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LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - Keith Braddock has seen his fair share of talented personalities as the Head Coach at Northeast Jones High School.

Senior Defensive Back Damien Blankenship is one of those infectious guys that elevates a team.

“He leads by example,” said Braddock. “He always goes 100 miles an hour, he plays hard, and he’ll run through a brick wall. We’re a better team when he’s on the field.”

Blankenship fell through the cracks a bit upon his arrival with the Tigers.

His smaller size raised a few eyebrows, but he quickly put any doubts to rest.

“You look at Damien’s size, and you don’t think he’s a physical football player because he’s a smaller guy,” Braddock said.

“But he’s a tremendous player. He’s a great young man that very rarely has a bad day.”

Despite his talents on the gridiron, the senior has struggled with other physical setbacks in his career.

“He’s had two different injuries to where he’s cut his season short,” Braddock said. “He’s broken his collarbone on two different occasions. But hey, he comes back stronger than ever and doesn’t miss a beat. It makes the team better having guys like him out here.”

The senior describes himself to be as tough as nails. Even after breaking both of his collarbones, Blankenship tried to make his case before being sidelined.

“Breaking both my shoulders... It didn’t really bother me,” said Blankenship. “I really tried to go back out there but they tried to stop me. Dealing with that injury, I didn’t really let it stop me. I kept working on it and pushing myself to get better and better.”

Now with an offseason of rest and preparation, the injuries are behind Blankenship.

Fully healed and ready to go, he’s ready to lock up on the Tigers’ defense and protect the jungle.

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