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Collin Blackburn of Sabino High School in Tucson is the 1999 Bigger Faster Stronger Athlete of the Year. He became the 20th recipient of our most prestigious award. Collin is an Eleven!
By Greg Shepard
Published: Winter 1999

Collin’s selection was based on athletic achievement in sports, the ability to overcome obstacles, scholarship, leadership, general character and the ability to put life into its proper perspective. Collin has proven his worth in all of these areas and is most deserving of this award.
Collin's father, Jim Blackburn, knew about his son's potential early in life. Collin played ice hockey and soccer as a child in Danville, Pennsylvania.
“Kids would bounce off of him,” remembered Jim. “It was funny to watch him in soccer. Kids would bang into him and it wouldn't faze him at all. It was evident that football would be his game.”
Jim Blackburn is a retired physician who moved to Tucson after a divorce. Collin came with his father to begin his high school career. “But back in Danville,” said Collin, “I was picked on some in the 6th grade because I had some fat. My dad helped coach little league football and he started me out on weights when I was in the 7th grade. The first thing I did was bench and I only did 90 pounds. I continued to do basic bodybuilding lifts until my 9th grade year. That's when I started the BFS program.”
Collin, as a senior, helped lead his Sabino Sabercats to a 4-A State Championship. He was a first team All-State linebacker and conference Player of the Year. He made Honorable Mention All-America and was a finalist for Arizona State Player of the Year.
Physically, Collin stands out as one of the very strongest players in high school history. The stats in his progress chart give testament to that statement. However, Collin is also remarkable in the classroom. He achieved a near perfect 4.0 GPA throughout high school and recorded over 1400 on his SAT. “Academics have always been important to me,” said Collin. “I always want to compete and do the best I can plus I enjoy learning. It's a route to success. I want to give my future children as much as possible.”
Collin never skipped a class just to hang out and is always on time with his assignments. “I will never submit something that is not at least 100 % of what I'm capable of doing. The same thing goes in the weight room, football, track or anything. People have given me a lot so I feel I have an obligation to do my best.”
I learned first hand about Collin's remarkable insight on being a cut above the rest. After presenting him his award in Tucson, Collin sent me a typed letter on his own printed stationery thanking me for the award.
Collin decided to go to Harvard and play football. He has been interested in Harvard since a very young age. Football, I feel, just gives me an edge. Collin will pursue a career as an orthopedic surgeon specializing in cartilage regeneration.
Coach Scurran praises, “This is really a great kid who isn't just all about football. Collin is a true scholar-athlete. He's very dedicated and very disciplined in everything he does.”
Collin considers his dad, Jeff Scurran and Bob Ingram, his linebacker coach, inspirational figures. “My dad has always been there. He was my first coach and coach Ingram taught me abut the love of the game. Coach Scurran has helped me tremendously. It's incredible the number of kids here who want to be part of his program.”
Collin has never been asked to take drugs. “I'm known on campus,” said Collin, “as a person who just would never do them. I don't have time to mess around with them. I've been at parties where there's been drinking and people drunk but that's not me. As far as tobacco, my dad is a pulmonologist. So I know, really know, about the bad effects of tobacco. My dad made everyone in my family stop including my grandmother.
“Steroids are incredibly stupid. My body is precious. I want to be healthy when I get older. I want my success to be 100% me. I want achievements to be my achievements. I get strong through good nutrition. I eat protein, vegetables and drink lots of water.”
Collin believes hard work is the most important element in being successful.
“Sometimes you have adversity but you just gotta work through it. People who care about you help pull you through times that are difficult. “Keep sight of what your goals are. You can't give 100% some of the time. You need to give it all the time.
“The weight room is really amazing. I get goose bumps just walking through and seeing all the inspiration on the weight room walls. I love seeing my teammates and together we picture the next season with a vision. It puts an extra skip in your step. The juices just start flowing.
“My family always comes first followed by academics. Athletics add enjoyment to life.”
Many thanks to Coach Scurran and especially to Collin. You are a bright light shining in a sometimes pessimistic world. You have been a great inspiration through your wonderful example.


Year Weight Bench Clean Squat 40
9th 205 300 225 375 5.2
10th 210 325 275x3 430 4.9
11th 225 375 315 500 4.8
12th 235 450 315x10 550 4.7
Vertical Jump: 27”
Power Snatch: 225
GPA: 4.0

Collin will be attending Harvard year where he plans to play football and will pursue a career as an orthopedic surgeon specializing in cartilage regeneration.

Collin Blackburn
Collin can Power Clean a mindboggling 315 pounds for 10 reps.
Straight Leg Dead Lifts
Collin did a box jumping
Collin has achieved a powerful 450 pound bench as a senior at Sabino High School.
Coach Scurran with Collin on the Glute Ham Developer, a BFS top priority exercise.
(Right to Left) Sabino High Head Coach Jeff ScurranCollin, Coach Greg Shepard.

Return to Winter 1999 Articles

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