Talented Linebacker Looking At AU, Others

Recently rated as the top linebacker in the South by The Insiders.com, this Georgia native talks about his early favorites and the Tigers are one of the teams he is considering.

LaGrange, Ga.--Star prospect Tray Blackmon was recently named to TheInsiders.com South Hot 100 as the number one linebacker and the number three overall prospect in his region for the class '05.

With colleges all across the country competing for his signature, has Blackmon even begun to narrow down his list of favorites?

"My top five right now is Georgia, Kentucky, Auburn, Florida State and USC," Blackmon says. "I have offers from all of those schools"

Does any school stand out above the others right now?

"I'm leaning towards Georgia, but Kentucky is right there, too," the 6-2, 195-pound linebacker says. "Georgia has just always been my dream school really. They are the home team and I have always seen myself playing for them just like the Atlanta Falcons. Their coaches are really involved and they get to know you as a person. It seems like a good place to get a degree also."

What does he like about the remaining teams on his list?

Kentucky: "Their coach is always around our school," Blackmon notes. "He talks to me a lot and he's a real good motivator. I think I could play earlier there as well and it would be nice to go to school with Wesley (Woodyard)."

Auburn: "It's real close to home and I like Coach (Hugh) Nall," he explains. "They have a good team already, and they just lost their two linebackers as well."

Florida State: "I think I have a good chance to play early there. Their coaches say that the best player will play, and I want to take a visit there."

Southern Cal: "They have a good system with their workouts and things like that," Blackmon says. "They are a very physical team, and going to L.A. would give me a chance to get away."

What is most important to the upcoming senior when picking the college of his choice?

"Just to get a degree," Blackmon says about his college ambitions. That's what it's all about. I would be the first person in my family to get a college degree and I know that would mean a lot to my mom."

For a linebacker who does not weigh a whole lot, the LaGrange star is as strong as they come. "I'm in the weight room every day now just making sure everybody is working hard in there and out at practice," the highly recruited prospect notes. "I've gotten my bench press up to 360 pounds. I squat 550 pounds, and I can power clean 320 pounds, also."

What Blackmon enjoys most of all on the field should not come as a surprise to anyone.

He's arguably the most violent hitter in the South for 2005, and he says he doesn't plan to have mercy on anybody this season. "I love to hit the quarterbacks," he says. "I like to go straight through the running backs to get to them."

Does Blackmon have any response to the remarks made by Jerrell Mabry (Shaw High fullback) about going straight at him for four quarters, when the new divsion rivals meet on the field this fall, to see if he breaks?

"All I have to say is that will either make him or break him. We'll see what happens after it's over. I'm going to be ready."

The powerful linebacker currently carries a 3.5 GPA and plans to major in business or bomputer aided drafting once he gets to college.

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