Running Back Has Extended Stay at AU

Manatee High four star running back Mike Blakely discusses his trip to check out the Auburn football Tigers in a report that features game highlight videos.

Bradenton, Fla.--A three-day trip to check out the Auburn football program and campus left four-star running back Mike Blakely seriously interested Coach Gene Chizik's Tigers.

Impressed with the crowd of 63,217 who turned out for Auburn's A-Day spring scrimmage and the atmosphere on campus, he says, "It was basically like game week in Auburn. I had been to other schools, but I had not stayed as long as I did in Auburn. I really liked it.

"It was good to get a feel for what the college atmosphere was like," he says of his extended visit.

Mike Blakely

A prospect in no hurry to make a college decision, he says it is too early to have a list of favorites, but notes that Auburn is definitely under serious consideration after his trip to the campus.

"The coaches told me they love me," he says. "I talk to Coach Chiz (Chizik) and he said that he could see me in their offense and doing a lot of things. He said I could really help the team."

Mike Blakely

Blakely, a 5-9, 192-pounder with 4.45 speed in the 40-yard dash, rushed for 1,400 yards and caught 327 yards as a receiver while earning All-State honors as a junior.

At times he lines up as a "wildcat" formation quarterback. "Auburn talked to me about playing wildcat and every school I talk to talks about the wildcat because I can really throw the ball and I am a smart player on the field and off the field," Blakely says.

A player who is also a threat as a return man who can play cornerback, he says, "I try to do my best at everything I do. I play football. That is what I like to do so that is what I work on."

"I feel am like a versatile player," he says. "I?have been playing pretty much every position since I was young so I know what to do."

He notes that what Auburn would like him to do is carry the football and says he really likes the man who would be his position coach, Curtis Luper, if he decided to attend Auburn. "I love Coach Loop," Blakely says. "He is a laid-back person and a fun guy."

He also says he likes the way that Auburn uses its running backs and the tradition of excellence at that position at AU.

"They are a running back school and they are going to run the ball," Blakely says. "Because they are going to throw the ball, too, it takes some of the pressure off the running backs. It also takes the pressure off the wide receivers because the defense never knows what they are going to do. I?like their style of play."

Academically, Blakely is a strong student, who says, "I have to be because my parents get on to me about that." He notes that he is interested in majoring in business or communications in college.

Playing on one of the top teams in Florida at Manatee High, he predicts his squad will be strong again in 2010. Blakely will be back on the practice field beginning on May 3rd and says he knows what parts of his game he wants to improve.

He says, "I am going to try to be a better blocker as a senior and I want to continue to improve as a runner and run harder--harder than I did last year."

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