Sam Webb: Let's start with a little bit of an unfair question. Tell me about Blake's game. Pretend for a second you're a scout in the stands and you're watching Blake on the field… break down his game for me.
Wendell Countess: "As his dad you know I'm going to be a little biased (laughter). Blake I think is very explosive, he's fast, and he's smart, smart guy. Technique wise, he just seems to do everything that needs to be done as far as defensive back position. He trains with the defensive back coach. He's got a personal trainer, along with the weight room, he is a great student, and is a very humble guy. He just seems to be the all around All-American kid."
Sam Webb: Do you know at this time what his accurate height, weight and 40 time happen to be?
Wendell Countess: "He's 5'10", a 174 pounds and he is a 4.47 40."
Sam Webb: Has he been selected for any of those all star games like the Chesapeake Bowl, the Under Armour game or any of those games out there?
Wendell Countess: "Yes. He is committed to the Crab Bowl, which is the Maryland's all stars and he committed to the Army All-American game in San Antonio."
Sam Webb: Where do things stand right now with Michigan's recruitment of Blake?
Wendell Countess: "Right now he is just speaking back and forth with the coaches. They have not officially offered or anything like that. He is just speaking back and forth with the coaches and like any high school senior. Michigan was one of his top schools. If that offer ever comes through that would be one of his top offers. He is just talking back and forth with the coaches right now."
Sam Webb: How much interest are they showing now compared to earlier in his recruitment? Is it more than they had been showing, say two or three months ago?
Wendell Countess: "Definitely yes. The phone calls have definitely picked up. He is speaking directly with Tony Dews, one of our recruiters from Michigan. He spoke with him (Wednesday) night."
Sam Webb: What are your impressions of Coach Dews?
Wendell Countess: "Coach Dews seems to be a very straight forward guy. He is just straight forward. He tells you exactly what it is. He answers all your questions as thoroughly as he can. That's it, as far as the recruiting, this is new to me, new to Blake. This is my first son going through the process. Any type of question we've had, he's always been there to answer for us. If it is some type of insight with what recruiting process is like."
Sam Webb: Take me through what they're saying to you guys regarding an offer at this point. Are they saying they need to see more film on Blake? Do they want to get out and see him in person? Do they want him go come on a visit?
Wendell Countess: "They want to do a little bit of all that. They actually want to see a little more film. They want him to come to campus actually meet some of the other coaches. The recruiting thing, it is all about your family background. Obviously the athleticism, what type of kid you are, character, grades… the whole nine yards. From my impression with Dews, they are looking for the complete student-athlete. The only way you can get an idea of that is to actually sit down, meet and have conversations. Coach Dews is just saying basically, ‘be patient… we're working on this thing, we really want to see if we can get you up here and pull the trigger on the offer.' Once they do that, it is on us to do our homework and find out about the university as well."
Sam Webb: Have they talked about a target date or timeframe for which they would like you to visit?
Wendell Countess: "They've actually been trying to get us up there, but Blake's schedule has been so busy since this summer and one thing leads to the next. We've done the recruiting circuit sort of speak and the dates never seemed to mesh with each other. One week was good for them, but that was a week we had already planned for something else. Then the practices start and then obviously the school and then the season, that sort of thing. It has just been sort of hit and miss sort of deal."
Sam Webb: What are the odds of you guys visiting Michigan?
Wendell Countess: "Like I said, right now it is just a matter of timing with everything. Blake is a senior and right now with the Army game coming up, with his playoff schedule, with trying to stay on top of his academics… it is just hard. Blake is talking to a couple other coaches and I'm not sure what he's spoken with about with Coach Dews, because he's really tried to get us up there, but it has to go along with his schedule. Obviously, it has to go along with mom and dad, getting that time off of work and at the same, Blake's schooling and just the dates. The later it gets in the year, the harder it becomes because now you're being squeezed for time. Like hey, let us hurry up and get this done."
Sam Webb: Blake seems really high on Georgia Tech. Where he with the Yellow Jackets right now and what are the other schools that he is considering sort of prominently right now?
Wendell Countess: "Like I said, this is all off of what (offers) he has as opposed to what may come. Right now, it's still Blake's decision. We as parents try to advise at this period, not really tell him but just advise. Georgia Tech is one of his favorites. Maryland is there, Purdue, North Carolina State as well as Louisville. Pittsburgh is also in the picture still."
Sam Webb: Your son obviously has a lot of options. When you guys sit down and evaluate all these schools, what are going to be the most significant factor in that choice?
Wendell Countess: "First and foremost is always going to be the education. It is going to be Blake and I and the family that is going to sit down as a unit and discuss your major and then discuss what type of major that degree is going to carry. At Michigan, they are a very good academic school. Then he wants to be somewhere, where he feels comfortable on campus. People that are around him, as a parent when I allow my child to go off to school, I want to have some kind of structure, someone that I can call and say what's going on – family sort of speak. Last but not least would be playing time for Blake because that's what it is. There is a student-athlete. We want to take care of academics. We want to be somewhere on campus where we feel comfortable that mean people who have the same background that I have, just feeling comfortable and being able to play, eventually one day get on the field and play."
Sam Webb: Do you guys sort of have a timeline for when you want this process to be over with?
Wendell Countess: "I was looking for the summer some time, but like I said with Blake, this is his thing. This is my first time going through it. This is his first time going through it. He wants to enjoy the process. He doesn't want to cut anyone short or anything like that because you know never until you go experience and see it for yourself. That could work both ways. I thought this school was this and that and I got there and I just didn't feel it or this is the school that I was thinking about blowing off and when I got there I really, really enjoyed it and liked it, based on the criteria that we talked about. I'm sure Blake has some other things that may dictate him choosing a school, one over the other. The blessing in the whole thing is that he does have options and you only get one chance to do this and we just trying to sit back and take our time with it. At the same time try and make an educated decision."
Sam Webb: Is there any chance if he makes a decision at the Army game?
Wendell Countess: "You would really have to ask Blake that. He may hold on that long, he might not hold on that long, as schools start to fill up. The same way you get an offer, you can lose it from what I'm getting. If these schools recruit four DBs and they get four DBs committed then you know there is no room for the fifth DB that wants to come."
Sam Webb: When it is all said and done, is distance from home going to be a factor for you guys in this process?
Wendell Countess: "No, no, no. That is one of the things that is not going to be a factor. As I said as a parent, I would like to see Blake go out and see a little bit of the world. You know what is up the street from you and you know what is down the street from you. Go out and see a little bit of the world and learn and go. If we sending you out there, four years later, five years later, we want you to come back a degreed man sort of speak. It's tough. It's tough out there. As parents, you want them to learn and adjust and continue to grow because we all ever evolving students."
Stay tuned to GoBlueWolverine for more on Michigan's recruitment of Blake Countess from the young man himself I the coming days. In the meantime, check out highlights from the first seven games of his senior campaign.