Blake Shrader, a quarterback/defensive back who will be a senior this fall at North Jackson High School, says he will attend Auburn.
He plays for Mark Rose, a former tight end for the Tigers, who says that Shrader is a talented player who has excellent knowledge of the game as the son of a football coach. "Blake wants to play for Auburn and he has done a great job for us," Rose says. "He is a smart young man who understands the game and has good quickness. He plays both offense and defense for us."
North Jackson's Blake Shrader
Shrader, who is an honor student, is expected to arrive as a specially invited walk-on as an early high school graduate in January with an opportunity to earn a scholarship like quarterback Josh Sullivan did last year and others like 2003 starter Roderick Hood have done on previous Auburn teams. He stands five foot, eight and a half inches tall and weighs 166 pounds.
He runs the 40-yard dash in the 4.6 to 4.7 range. He led North Jackson to a 14-1 record as a junior with 104 tackles and eight interceptions. He scored two touchdowns on fumble recoveries. He picked off two passes in the 4A state championship game. Shrader has 14 career interceptions, which is a school record.
He filled in at quarterback the last half of the season when the starter was injured and rushed for 440 yards and five TDs on 77 carries with a long run of 85 yards. He threw just 11 passes. He completed five, with three going for touchdowns. He netted 115 yards through the air.
Shrader, who attended a football camp at Auburn in June with Coach Rose, is expected to play both ways as a senior for North Jackson.
"I like the way the Auburn program has progressed in recent seasons," says Shrader. "I want to go to a team that will be playing for championships and Auburn looks like a team that will be doing that in the coming years."
The prospect's father, Barry Shrader, is the defensive coordinator at North Jackson High and a friend of Auburn assistant coach Phillip Lolley, the former North Jackson head coach who recruits that school for the Tigers. Shrader says he has known Lolley "since I have been alive," and adds that is another reason why he wants to play his college football at AU.
The quarterback/defensive back will likely get a look at several positions as a college player, but is not expected to be a quarterback at the next level. "It looks like Blake will be playing both ways this season," Shrader says. "He seemed to handle it well last year and probably played better on defense when he was also playing offense."
Coach Shrader, who coaches his son in the secondary, notes that Blake has been around football forever. "He has been crawling around the gym with us since he was a baby. He has been around football his whole life. I would say his best attribute is that really understands the game. Auburn is interested in him as an 'athlete" and Blake has been very interested in going to Auburn for a couple of years now. It has been his goal."
Rose says, "I think he has the potential to be a really good college player."
Tiger Ticket Extra: Shrader will be a three-year starter who was also recruited by Southern Miss, UT-Chattanooga, Troy State, Mississippi State, Jacksonville State (his father's alma mater) and others. He was named to the 4A All-Tri-State all-star team after his junior season. He was also an All-Region selection. He is also the centerfielder on the school baseball team, but will not play as a senior because he plans to be going through spring practice at AU.