Michigan Among Favorites for Countess

Olney (MD) Good Counsel DB, Blake Countess finally made his way to Ann Arbor for an official visit last weekend and left with a very strong impression of the Maize & Blue. The Army All American corner recaps his time on campus, shares his thoughts on his fit with the players and coaches, discusses his decision timeline, and much much more.

Blake Countess Profile

Sam Webb:  Tell me about your season and how it went for you.

Blake Countess:  "The season went really well.  I'm my biggest critic.  I always think I can do better, but I was pretty pleased with my season.  We won the WCAC so that is always a plus.  We beat Dematha 42-3."

Sam Webb:  Do you remember off the top of your head what your stats were?

Blake Countess:  "I don't.  I don't have senior stats right now."

Sam Webb:  Ok, well break down your game for the people that haven't seen you play.  What do you bring to the table, what are the strengths of your game?

Blake Countess:  "Aggression.  Definitely an aggressive player.  I'm always around the ball, very smart on the field and really just a leader."

Sam Webb:  If you had to pinpoint things that you believe you need to work on, what aspect of your game do you think that you need to improve upon the most?

Blake Countess:  "I would say closing on the ball."

Sam Webb:  What is your height, weight and forty time?

Blake Countess:  "5'10", 167 and a 40 I have not ran since last spring, but it was a 4.47."

Sam Webb:  Obviously, Michigan has come on really strongly lately.  First, let us talk about your relationship with Coach Dews.  What is your vibe like with Coach Dews?

Blake Countess:  "Me and Coach Dews are real cool… real close.  I've been talking to Coach Dews since junior year.  We could only say hello, but sometimes I would call him throughout the summer. He was trying to get me up on campus.  Me and Coach Dews have built a really cool relationship.  He's laid back, real cool."

Sam Webb: So now that you've finally made it up to Michigan's campus, give me your impressions.

Blake Countess:  "It was a really good visit.  The campus was beautiful.  It was a little chillier than where I'm from in Maryland, but it was really nice.  The football program seemed like they were doing the right things in all aspects of the game, not just on the field, but also off the field with training.  The strength staff is really good.  All the academics seem on point.  Michigan's academics are going to speak for themselves anyway, but Rich Rodriguez seemed like he had the correct stuff in place so that his guys wouldn't have to worry about that."

Sam Webb:  What did you think of the head strength guy, Mike Barwis?

Blake Countess:  "I thought he was really motivating.  He is almost like high-strung, I don't really know the word, but he is really energetic.  He seems like he can motivate guys and make them do what he wanted to do."

Sam Webb:  You got a chance to sit down with Rich Rodriguez for some personal time.  What were your impressions of Rich Rod?

Blake Countess:  "I thought Rich Rodriguez was really down to earth cool, he didn't seem to…I don't know the words.  He was really laid back.  He just sat and talked.  He had a long conversation about everything from football to academics some of when he played and different stuff like that.  I wouldn't have a problem going and talking to him if I ever had a problem on the field or off the field."

Sam Webb:  I know you had the chance spend some time with the players.  Who was your host and which players did you hang out with the most?

Blake Countess:  "Josh Furman was my host and we hung out with a lot of his friends, Courtney Avery.  We were actually hanging with Devin Gardner and Denard (Robinson) because they also had recruits.  So we were all kind of together.  The recruits were staying together and they were together. It was really fun.  I had a really good time."

Sam Webb:  Did you know Josh Furman already?

Blake Countess:  "Yeah we had met before, but we were not like cool.  We knew each other, but we weren't like…we both knew of each other."

Sam Webb:  You said you had a lot of fun but did you feel like after spending a day or so with them that this was a crew that you could fit in with?

Blake Countess:  "Yes.  That's one of my biggest things is being able to fit into the team, having the same type of guys around you that you are going to click with and want to battle with because that's what this is about.  I could definitely see myself around the same type of guys."

Sam Webb:  What was Denard like to be around?

Blake Countess:  "Denard is real humble.  You would never guess.  You would just think he was a regular role player on the team.  He really doesn't have that superstar attitude, that superstar ego, nothing like that.  He's just real cool laid back.  He's a jokester, likes to crack jokes and he's funny."

Sam Webb:  I know Michigan was your first official.  What schools have you visited unofficially?

Blake Countess:  "I went to Louisville.  I went to Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Maryland.  I went to Rutgers briefly, Cincinnati when I was up there in Ohio... UVA (Virginia), and Tennessee."

Sam Webb:  I know this won't be an apples for apples question because Michigan was an official visit and the others were unofficials, but to the extent that you got first impressions of those schools, how did your first impression of Michigan match up to those of the other schools?

Blake Countess:  "My first impression of Michigan was like, 'wow, this is so big!'  It definitely was a college campus feel.  We came in and the first thing we saw was the stadium just because it is so big.  I had really never seen anything like that."

Sam Webb:  Your dad was telling me that you are going to take an official visit to Georgia Tech next?

Blake Countess:  "Yes sir, this week coming up."

Sam Webb:  Many of the stories have said that Georgia Tech was at or near the top of your list and that your former teammate Louis Young being down there is a major draw for you.  How big of a factor is that?

Blake Countess:  "Louis (Young) is down there and me and him played together last year.  He also plays corner, so we deal with the same people as far as coaches. And Louis is going to keep it real with me.  When he was going through his homesick mode, he was like, 'man, I don't like it I want to get out of here.' When he got over it, he was like, 'man this is where you want to be.  This is where you're going to grow. ' Different stuff like that, so I'm kind of getting it all from Louis, as opposed to some of the other schools when somebody hosts you and you don't really know and they just kind of tell you, they don't feel comfortable opening up to you."

Sam Webb:  Where does Michigan stand on your list right now?

Blake Countess:  "I don't know.  I can't say.  If I had to rank them, I would rank them all three of them being #1 choices and then just like 1a, 1b and 1c.  Because right now, I want to take all my officials or at least these three that I got planned and go from there."

Sam Webb:  Now when you say these three, is Maryland the other one?

Blake Countess:  "Yes."

Sam Webb:  When are you going to take an official visit to Maryland?

Blake Countess:  "The weekend after next."

Sam Webb:  Are you going to possibly announce a decision at the Army All-American game?

Blake Countess:  "I've thought about it and I'm not sure.  I might make my decision the 20th when I get back from my visit to Maryland.  I might take another official in January.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet.  It kind of depends on my status is going to determine whether or not."

Sam Webb:  When you get ready to sit down and make that final decision, what are going to be the most significant factors?  What are going to be the things that puts one school over all the rest?

Blake Countess:  "Really just the university and how it feels. If I feel at home that's where I'm going to go... where I feel the most comfortable with the coach there and the people around me that are not coaches like academic staff and strength staff... where I feel most at home and where I'm going to get the most out of my ability... that's where I'm going to decide."

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