A former high school wide receiver used the skills he learned on the gridiron in an incredibly heroic circumstance on Friday. Phillip Blanks, who played at Kalamazoo Central in Michigan, dove to catch a 3-year-old child who fell out a third-floor window of a burning apartment building in Phoenix.
Blanks, who is also a retired U.S. Marine, told WWMT in Western Michigan said he sprung into action when he saw that another person who called for the child was not in the right position.
"People were screaming 'there are kids up there' and to throw the kids down," Blanks told the news station. "I saw another guy was standing there ready to catch the boy, but he didn't look like he was going to do it, so I stepped in front of him. The way I caught him damaged his foot, but the most important thing is his head was safe."
The child was apparently "twirling like a helicopter" as he fell through the air. Blanks was in the area after he heard screaming on the way to an early morning workout.
The boy and his 8-year-old sister were critically injured in the fire, and the mother of the two kids did not survive. Blanks said that he wants to "track those two children and their father down, and to help them as much as I can."