Oregon's Blount meets with teens

Updated: October 16, 2009, 2:57 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

EUGENE, Ore. -- Suspended Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount met with a group of at-risk teenagers and spoke about punching a Boise State player, telling them he would not let it define him as a person.

Blount has not been allowed to speak to the media since he was suspended for punching defensive end Byron Hout in the aftermath of Oregon's season-opening loss to the Broncos on Sept. 3.

But the senior and several other players spoke Thursday at the John Serbu Youth Campus, the Register-Guard reported.

Blount told the teenagers about his upbringing in Florida, his brother's brushes with the law and his own struggles academically.

"I took the long road here," Blount said. "I didn't come straight out of high school. My grades was not enough to go Division I, so I had to go to a junior college in Mississippi. I did what I had to do in Mississippi, I got here last year, did what I had to do to get in the position I was in at the beginning of this season ... and I screwed that up.

"Now I have to work my way back up to get where I need to be and get to participate in the things I want to do, and be a part of this football team."

Blount apologized for the punch when speaking with reporters after the loss. He also called Boise State coach Chris Petersen and Hout to personally express his regret.

More recently, Oregon coach Chip Kelly has said that Blount could be reinstated if he follows certain conditions, but not before Oregon's Nov. 7 game at Stanford.

Blount has been allowed to remain on scholarship and practice with the team. He said that talking to the teens was not among the conditions for reinstatement that Kelly had set down.

"There's a distinct possibility he'll never play football here again," Kelly said recently. "But the ball is in LeGarrette's court."

The seven players who participated in the discussion talked to the teens about overcoming past mistakes.

The 13th-ranked Ducks have a bye this week before visiting Washington on Oct. 24.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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