Wide receiver Justin Armour caught on for one season, then he was long gone


A brief fling

December 28, 2007|By Mike Klingaman | Mike Klingaman,Sun reporter

Eight years later, Justin Armour can picture the play: a 54-yard pass that he caught for a game-winning touchdown in overtime.

The Ravens won in Atlanta that day, giving Armour his brief fling with fame.

Of his 37 catches for the Ravens in 1999, none was bigger for the 6-foot-4, 210-pound wide receiver.

"I'd just come into the game, and when I started downfield, the safety took one look at my big ol' white legs and let me go," Armour said.

"The best part was that I caught the ball in the corner of the end zone where the traveling Ravens fans were sitting."

Armour scored four touchdowns that season, a career high, then was told he was no longer part of the Ravens' plans.

No other NFL teams wanted him, either.

"That broke my heart," he said. "Basically, I left the league after my best season, when I thought I was starting to peak. But those stories from former players are a dime a dozen."

Armour, who turns 35 on New Year's Day, lives in Encinitas, Calif., with his wife, Cara, and two children.

As athletic director of a small, private college preparatory school, he said: "It's not uncommon for me to go one whole week without talking to an adult. It's great."

The Armours also run a surf retreat on the southern Baja Peninsula in Mexico and a health food delivery business in California, for those who enjoy veggie wraps, carrot juice and the like.

Though a continent away, he still has a bias for Baltimore. "In 1999, I was in every game plan, I contributed and we won four of our last five games," he said. "For me, it was the ideal team to be on."

A Stanford graduate, Armour had been recruited to play at the university by Brian Billick, then an assistant coach. Likewise, it was Billick, as Ravens coach, who drummed Armour out of the game.

"Billick brought me into football, and he got me out of it," Armour said. "I still don't know whether to thank him or punch him."


Justin Armour

With the Ravens: 1999

Other teams: Buffalo Bills, 1995; Philadelphia Eagles, 1997; Denver Broncos, 1998

Current job: Athletic director of the Grauer School in Encinitas, Calif.; owner of a health food delivery business in Southern California

Career statistics: 64 receptions for 861 yards and seven touchdowns

Fun fact: Enjoys surfing, snowboarding, and cross-training

College: Stanford, where he majored in public policy and set the school record (since broken) for receiving yards

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