In a video that has since gone viral, former college football wide receiver Phillip Blanks caught a child thrown from a burning building in Phoenix, Arizona.
The clip shows Blanks, who previously played for Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California, coming to help and catching the child just in time. "Instinct. There wasn't much thinking. I just reacted. I just did it," he told ABC7. "He was twirling in the air like a propeller. I just did my best. His head landed perfectly on my elbow. His ankle got twisted up as I was diving. The guy who was there with me - it looked like he wasn't going to catch him. So that's why I stepped in. I just wanted to make a better catch."
The video was taken on July 3, and the 28-year-old, who is also a former marine, gave "some credit to football" for pulling off the catch. He said that he heard a lot of loud noises just outside of his building the day the fire happened, and when he went to look, he ran outside barefoot to see if he could help. The 3-year-old child was saved, but the 30-year-old mother who threw him died in the fire. "She's the real hero of the story," Blanks said. "Because she made the ultimate sacrifice to save her children."
CATCH OF A LIFETIME: Man who played wide receiver at college in Orange County saves toddler thrown from burning buildinghttps://t.co/mgaVJuJ0Ap— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) July 8, 2020
Watch the moment caught on video above.
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