Lone Star Athlete Eyeing Summer Decision

With a looming summer decision time is certainly of the essence for Jourdan Blake. Arizona State is one of the more active suitors for the Princeton (Tex.) athlete, and in turn Blake has been intrigued by the Sun Devils and what they can offer him as a program.

"Coach Norvell came here to see me in spring practice," Blake said. "They offered me as an athlete, so I could play at cornerback or a wide receiver. I'm planning to visit them in June but I don't know if I will be there at one of their camps or not. I wasn't expecting an offer from them so it was a nice surprise.

"Coach told me that he likes my feet and my quickness. I play quarterback so I understand the game very well. If I go there, there's a chance that they would try me out at quarterback, but there's no guarantee. I'm very explosive and run track and my fastest 100 meters time is 10.6."

Blake remarked that he caught a couple of the Sun Devils' contests on TV last season, but generally doesn't know much about the program.

"That's why I want to go out there, visit them and learn more about the program," Blake said. "Coach Norvell told me that it's a great environment with great facilities, and that when I get there I would feel right at home. I heard that the coaches have a great relationship with the players and have a lot of respect for them.

"So I'm excited about my visit because I heard so many great things about the team and I want to see it all for myself."

Oklahoma State, South Florida, Illinois, Baylor and Tulsa all offered the 6-1 185-pound Jourdan Blake, who as a junior threw for 2,100 yards and 22 touchdowns, and also ran for more than 1,000 yards and scored 10 touchdowns.

"I feel that I'm versatile enough to play a lot of positions both on offense and defense," Blake said. "As long as you get me the ball I will make a play and put points on the board. Coaches tell me I'm a playmaker.

"Illinois and South Florida are recruiting me as a quarterback, but everyone else is recruiting me as an athlete. I played quarterback all my life, so I don't care playing a different position and I'm open to anything. I'm actually going to play some cornerback this year along with quarterback, because that's what I might play at in the next level. I played that position before, just not in my junior year."

The Princeton standout expressed his desire to be committed by the start of his senior season, so he wouldn't have the distraction of recruiting hanging over his head in what should be a very challenging campaign for the Panthers.

"My family moved from North Carolina so last year was my first year with the team," Blake remarked. "We were 10-2 (in the state's 3A Division) and playing quarterback I had a lot of good players around me which made it a lot easier on me.

"This year we are losing 32 seniors so we have a lot of players coming up from JV and we have a lot of work to do."

Blake already visited Oklahoma State, and along with a future visit to Tempe he plans to also trip to Illinois and South Florida. Future offers could naturally add visits, but right now he's concentrated on that quartet of programs.

"I want to visit all four schools before I make a decision," Blake explained. "So when I commit I know that I checked out all those schools. I'm looking for a good location, good position coach and good coaching staff as a whole. Playing time and academics are important too.

"I know some of these schools are far away but I want to make sure that I go to a place where my family is able to see me play. And if I do go to a school far away I want to make sure that I'm going to a family environment."

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