Bloom focuses on life after football 

April, 29, 2009
Jeremy Bloom was one of the most exciting players to come through college football in a long time. Even though he was known more for his exploits as a skier, for challenging the NCAA and later for his work as a model, the guy proved to be quite the game-breaker for Colorado. I traded e-mails with him recently to see what he's been up to since leaving football.

What have you been doing since you left the NFL?

Bloom: I started The Wish of a Lifetime Foundation in living honor of my grandmother Donna Wheeler. I also returned to The United States Ski Team and have started working on several business ventures.

How did this charity come about?

Bloom: Both of my grandparents have served as inspirations in my life. My grandmother lived with our family while I was growing up and she has always had the most positive outlook on life. My grandfather, Jerry Bloom, taught me to ski at a young age and was the first person to teach me a thing or two about women.

Do you still hope to ski in another Olympics?

Bloom: I would love to ski in the Olympics again but am not sure that I still have the passion for the sport that it would require. I have always been a very passionate, hardworking person but as I have gotten older, I have noticed a passion shift in my life for some of the other things that I am working on. I will make a decision in the coming months.

Having competed in the Olympics and the NFL, which would be dreams for a lot of people, what is something you always wished you could do?

Bloom: Making dreams come true to others who may not have had the same resources and opportunity that I was given in my life. I was blessed to have two parents that provided me with every resource and opportunity to be successful in my life. As I look back on some of the defining moments of my athletic career, the three World Championships, two Olympics, college football and the NFL, I can't help but smile and appreciate my parents' sacrifice for me. I always dreamed big but I think I even surprised myself.

How was the NFL game different from playing at Colorado?

Bloom: You go from playing football with boys to playing with full-grown men. Some guys have played football in the NFL for over 10 years. Their knowledge for the game is amazing.

As a college football player who battled the NCAA during your career at Colorado, if you were running the NCAA, what rules would you change in regard to college athletics?

Bloom: First, I would get off the middle of the fence and stop running the organization in such a hypocritical manner. I would expand on the commercialization of college athletics and put an aggressive plan together to boost revenue in college sports. I would decrease our four-cent-on-the-dollar overhead and increase our revenue sharing to the institutions and student-athletes. I would use some of the additional revenue to boost player-benefit programs. I would also throw away archaic and unreasonable bylaws in our manual, give eight percent of revenue to the student-athlete whose jersey is being sold (redeemable upon graduation) and create a subcommittee that would focus on other ways to help our student-athletes and progress our organization past the ice ages and into the 21st century.

Ten years from now, what do you hope to be doing and have accomplished between now and then?

Bloom: I just want to always work hard no matter what it is. I want to attack the day with enthusiasm and passion and I never want to retire. Life will always present accomplishment and failure and I think both play an important role in progressing in both your personal and professional life. I hope to have a wonderful family and be a devoted husband and father.

News and notes

• After seeing how Wake Forest's recruiting class, once ranked 95th, cashed in at this weekend's NFL draft, I was curious to go back to the recruiting rankings of the 2005 signing class. Perusing the team rankings for that year is fascinating stuff in hindsight.

The top-ranked class, USC, really shined, yielding a league-best 11 draft picks. Among them: Mark Sanchez, Brian Cushing, Kevin Ellison, Patrick Turner, Rey Maualuga, Kyle Moore and Kaluka Maiava. But after the Trojans, things went haywire.

Florida State was ranked No. 2. The Noles had one player drafted over the weekend, Everette Brown, and he came from that class. The busts in this group are staggering, led by two five-star fadeaways: DT Callahan Bright, who never got into FSU, and WR Fred Rouse, who left after a year. RB Antone Smith, another five-star, was decent but didn't live up to the hype. There were also a host of four-star flops. On the plus side, kicker Graham Gano (a three-star), though he went undrafted, was outstanding at FSU.

No. 4 Tennessee also only had one player picked, and he didn't come from the 2005 class. Demetrice Morley was a five-star guy who recently was dismissed from the team. The Vols probably had even more four-star misses than FSU: Gerald Williams, a guy who is a third-team DE now; Slick Shelley; Malcolm Rawls; Andre Mathis; Ray Henderson; Todd Cox; and LaMarcus Coker. DT Dan Williams, a three-star guy, has been very solid and will be one of the Vols' team leaders in 2009.

No. 5 Nebraska had former five-star DB Zack Bowman go in the fifth round in 2008, but again, this group really fizzled in college. Five-star RB Marlon Lucky was OK, but unspectacular. Harrison Beck wasn't alone among the four-star guys who never made much of an impact in Lincoln. That said, there figures to be at least one guy from this class going in the first round, but it'll likely be DT Ndamukong Suh in 2010.

Now, the flip side. Ohio State, which was tied with seven draft picks, was ranked only 12th in 2005. The really curious part was that the guys who bolstered that class -- five-star OT Alex Boone, a productive lineman who battled off-field troubles, and QB Rob Schoenhoft, a four-star -- weren't the real gems. Instead, it was three-star guys like James Laurinaitis, Malcolm Jenkins, Brian Robiskie and Brian Hartline, and two-star DB Donald Washington.

Also with seven draftees was Oregon State, which was ranked 47th. Again, this group's big-name guys didn't prove to be the actual headliners. The two four-star recruits who probably moved this class into the top 60 were DB Edorian McCullough and QB Matt Moore. The ones who had the productive careers and got their names called over the weekend were DB Al Afalava, a two-star prospect, and DE-OLB Victor Butler, a no-star guy. In fairness, a big chunk of OSU's class came from the 2004 group, which was ranked 26th. That batch had WR Sammie Stroughter (a three-star) and a bunch of two-star standouts: Andy Levitre, Slade Norris and Keenan Lewis. Also in that signing class was Mike Wallace, a wideout who eventually went to Ole Miss and was a third-rounder this year.

South Carolina, which also had seven draft picks, was ranked 23rd. Among its better prospects were TE Jared Cook, a three-star, and Mr. Irrelevant, kicker Ryan Succop, another three-star.

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