NASHVILLE – When Khari Blasingame thinks about the future, he sees the big picture.
With that in mind, the Titans running back/fullback earned his Masters of Education earlier this offseason from Vanderbilt's Peabody College in leadership and organizational performance. When his playing days are over – and he hopes that will be a while from now – Blasingame is interested in pursuing a career in health care administration, or possibly in higher education. His degree should help him with business and leadership principals.
"We'll see how all that plays out after football," Blasingame said.
Right now, Blasingame is focused on his success on the football field, whether that's blocking for running back Derrick Henry, or doing his job to help the team win with his play on offense, or on special teams.
Today, success looks like this for Blasingame when he watches film:
"Success for me is having a good track, and being decisive," said Blasingame, who signed a new one-year deal with the team earlier this offseason. "Success is going to get my guy (to block), and my guy not making the tackle. It's having an explosive block, and keeping Derrick, keeping Darrynton (Evans), Jeremy (McNichols), any of those guys clean as much as I can.
"(Success) for me is helping the team any way I can. I just want to add value and do my job, whether that's on offense or on special teams."
Blasingame, who played at Vanderbilt, played in 15 games for the Titans in 2020, with seven starts. He also caught four passes for 39 yards in 2020, while also tying for the team lead in special teams tackles twice in 2020 (vs. Colts, vs. Browns).
Blasingame also played a key role as a blocker in front of Henry, who led the NFL with 2,027 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns in 2020.
On multiple occasions, Henry has raved about Blasingame, and his commitment.
"Khari does all the dirty work, and he is a big part of my success," Henry said. "I definitely appreciate him throughout the years, with the success I've had. I am glad we still have him – he's been doing a great job for us."
Blasingame takes pride in blocking for the NFL's top rusher the past two seasons. The two communicate on a regular basis on the practice field, and in meetings. They also stay in touch during the offseason.
"Just through our communication, I know that he appreciates (what I do)," Blasingame said of Henry. "We are talking about everything on the field – he is asking me what I see, what I felt on a certain play about a cut, watching film together. It is a back and forth, and I know he appreciates it.
"I know I am extremely blessed to be in this position, to block for a guy like that. And I know the o-line does their job week in and week out, so I am glad I can fall in step and be a part of that."
The 6-foot Blasingame, listed at 233 pounds last season, has gotten even sturdier this offseason, and it shows. While he didn't reveal how much heavier he is – "I want to keep them guessing on that," he said with a smile – he looks a lot bigger.
The extra bulk should help him on the field in a number of ways, from durability to strength.
"Khari has done a good job from a physical standpoint," Titans running backs coach Tony Dews said of Blasingame. "He looks like he really hit the weights, and he worked hard this offseason. He is doing the things he needs to do to carve a role out and help the team. … The big part of his job will be when we put the pads on. I am certainly looking forward to seeing that."
Blasingame is looking forward to doing his job once again.
The Titans initially signed Blasingame off the Minnesota Vikings' practice squad during the 2019 season to provide depth in the backfield and on special teams. Blasingame, who amassed 997 rushing yards and 15 rushing scores as well as 35 catches for 380 yards and two receiving touchdowns during his collegiate career at Vanderbilt, originally signed with the Vikings as a rookie free agent following the 2019 NFL Draft and spent the first 10 weeks of his rookie campaign on the team's practice squad.
Blasingame believes he's in a great spot in Tennessee, and he's looking forward to the start of camp. He wants to be as close to perfect as he possibly can.
"This time of year, it's exciting," he said. "Any time you get to put the pads on, it is a blessing. It's another opportunity to push the envelope, and to push yourself to the limit. I feel like every guy who loves ball is excited about that.
"For me, my opportunity here has been amazing, and I really do appreciate it. My mindset is to work as hard as I can, iron out the details, and take that next step personally and as a team. I just want to keep getting better every day, and take that next step forward. And that's something we want to do as a team as well."