After experiencing a roller-coaster ride in the National Football League during his first season away from the USF football team, former quarterback Marquel Blackwell found solace at the Bulls’ home opener against Nicholls State on Saturday.
Without a team, following his release by the New York Jets after Thursday’s 16-13 loss to the Washington Redskins, Blackwell returned to the USF sidelines to watch his friend and successor, Ronnie Banks. The former USF standout witnessed Banks notch his first collegiate win with a come-from-behind 27-17 victory against the Colonels. The win extends the Bulls’ home-winning streak, begun during Blackwell’s time under center, to 20 games.
But the safe-haven USF football provided Blackwell for four seasons hasn’t been duplicated at the next level. The most accomplished player in the program’s short history has had to deal with being released not only once, but twice by the Jets in just one week.
Blackwell, however, is undeterred by the tough treatment he’s experienced thus far in the professional ranks.
“It’s been alright,” Blackwell said. “It’s a part of football, so you have to deal with it. But everything is going to work out for the best.”
Blackwell is currently a free agent, and although he wouldn’t disclose whether he and his agent are in contract negotiations with any other NFL team, he said, “It’s looking good right now.”
Blackwell originally signed with the Jets as a free agent after the NFL draft and spent the entire preseason on the roster. The Jets released him when teams were forced to trim rosters to 53 players but he was re-signed two days later as the third quarterback for Thursday’s season opener against Washington.
However, Blackwell was once again released last Friday, which left the former USF standout clueless on the Jets’ methods.
“I don’t know what they were thinking,” Blackwell said. “They didn’t tell me anything.”
In his stint with the Jets, Blackwell saw some playing time during the preseason. he went 11-18 with 154 yards for two touchdowns in three preseason games.