All-State LB is one of South's Best

<b>Tray Blackmon</b> was named State Defensive Player of the Year by the Georgia Coaches' Association following his junior campaign with LaGrange. The honors are just beginning for the hard hitting linebacker as he will be one of the most heavily recruited prospects in the south.

Tray Blackmon wracked up 116 tackles for one of the best defenses in the state last year. He helped lead a surprising LaGrange team to a State Title that was loaded with juniors, and the Grangers are going to be a force to be reckoned with again this year spearheaded by Blackmon.

I got to see Blackmon in the Georgia Dome against Washington County, but he was banged up in that game and didn't get to go full speed. I had the opportunity to sit down and watch film with the Granger coaching staff yesterday, and as we were going through Blackmon's reel, every play was preceded by "Ok, now watch THIS hit." They weren't exaggerating either, as every one of Blackmon's plays seemed to hit harder than the previous one.

Tray Blackmon

At 6-0 and 192 pounds, Blackmon isn't a huge linebacker, but he is as strong as any with a 315 pound bench press, 300 power clean, and 520 squat. His strength really shows on video as he uncoils through his ball carrier and explodes through his hips and legs.

"I think he's going to be a linebacker all the way in college," said LaGrange Head Coach Steve Pardue. "He's got a chance to put on a lot of weight once they get him into college. 20 pounds on his frame wouldn't surprise me at all."

Blackmon is as quiet off the field as his tackles are loud on the field, and he patterns his game after another notorious hard hitter.

"I like Ray Lewis," said Blackmon.

LaGrange's team goals are obviously to win their third State Championship in four years, but what does Blackmon see for himself in the coming year?

"I want to be our leading tackler. I want to try and better my forty time, and I want to work hard in the weight room."

Working hard in the weight room is something that Blackmon is accustomed to. He has a 315 bench, a 520 squat, and most impressively, a 300 pound power clean. Seeing him drive through ball carriers, one can really see how hard he works in the weight room.

Who are some of the schools that are on Blackmon's early list?

"Georgia, Tennessee, Auburn, South Carolina, and Mississippi State," said Blackmon when asked that very question.

"We haven't gotten film out on Tray yet," said Pardue. "Rodney Garner (Georgia) came through here before signing day and saw his highlight tape and offered Tray on the spot. Joker Phillips (Kentucky) has also extended an offer, but they're really the only ones that have seen film."

It's only a matter of time before Blackmon is able to pick have his choice of film. If college coaches are simply waiting on film, they won't wait much longer once they see him. He is for real.

As for subscribers to TheInsiders, what is all of this talk of film without actually showing any? Don't worry, I wouldn't do that to you. Tray Blackmon Highlights will be posted tomorrow; that will give you time to find your mouthpiece.

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