July 7, 2010

Nation's No. 6 RB puts Rebels in his top six

Mike Blakely has visited Florida, Auburn (twice), and South Carolina, and not coincidentally, the trio of universities emerged as the early leaders for the standout running back.

The nation's No. 4 running back, according to Rivals.com, Blakely plans to take official visits to those three schools, and he included another three schools for a top-six list of official visit candidates.

While Blakely has never seen Oxford, Miss., he said Ole Miss will "for sure" land one of those remaining visits.

"Tennessee, Ole Miss - for sure - and (Southern Cal) I want to visit," Blakely said.

Currently, 35 schools have offered the Bradenton (Manatee), Fla., four-star prospect. Rivals rates Blakely as the No. 22 overall prospect nationally and No. 4 in Florida.

"(Ole Miss) is in the SEC and that's what conference I'll probably be playing in," said the 5-foot-9, 193-pounder. "They told me I could be used like Dexter McCluster, that's the way I play anyways, so I could get the ball and help out a lot."

Blakely previously told Rivals.com that he had a new favorite after each sequential visit to the three SEC institutions he visited.

Blakely plans to commit sometime during the season and does not feel pressured to commit soon. He's considered graduating high school early, and has signed up for several online classes in an attempt to enroll in January and get a head start on the college game.

Blakely cites his vision, explosiveness, elusiveness and breakaway speed as his strengths. He believes his top-end speed is among the best and claims he was caught from behind just once as a junior.

"I catch the ball very well, too," said Blakely. "I'm versatile. I can do anything on the field… I got caught probably one time, but stuff happens. Everybody gets caught."

Blakely amassed 1,400 yards on the ground and 327 yards as a receiver as a junior. He threw for 80 yards and added 237 more as a kick and punt returner, totaling 23 touchdowns. As a junior, Manatee fell short in the 5A Florida state finals against Plant, and Blakely took the loss with class - he congratulated each member of the winning team before he walked off the field.

For his senior campaign, Blakely wants to lead his team to a championship and experience the other side of postgame congratulatory handshakes.

"We feel like we can play with anybody in the country," Blakely added. "If we play our game, we can go all the way. I've got to help win state by working up the team and becoming a family."

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!