Getting Friendly

Alex Blake is looking at three different schools in a three-year span. He played his junior football season at Gar-Field High in Woodbridge, Va. Following the upcoming winter break, he'll return to Friendly High in Fort Washington, Md., for his final prep season, where the 6-foot-2, 180-pound receiver also suited up as a sophomore. Then it's up to him on where he'll play his college ball.

Notre Dame could possibly be an option.

Penn State, Virginia, Connecticut, Rutgers, Stanford, Syracuse and Notre Dame are among the many programs sending Alex Blake mail and showing interest.

A strong showing at the National Underclassmen Combine, and a nice junior year have put Blake on the map. With his 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash, Blake caught 30 passes for 300 yards and three touchdowns in Gar-Field's run heavy offense, helping his team to the Regional Championship round for the first time since 1990.

"I'm more of a nice, smooth, crisp perfectionist," Blake said, also reporting a 235-pound bench and 405-pound squat. "I catch everything that comes my way, and try and make the best plays on the worst passes. Big players make big plays.

"I've never really been coached," he later added. "I think I'm just raw. I don't think I've been coached to be the best wide receiver I can be. I do work hard, and do whatever the coaches tell me."

Blake transferred to Gar-Field from Friendly to play with his cousin who quarterbacked the team. But his cousin got in trouble, and they became more of a run heavy team.

However, Gar-Field wasn't doing as much running as Friendly was, as they featured Boston College commit Josh Haden at running back.

"They were ecstatic," Blake said of the Friendly coaches reaction to the news of him returning. "They knew I was coming back after my junior year. I'm kind of glad I left this year, because they didn't pass the ball that much."

That will likely change next fall.

It was a 45-minute drive for Blake to make it to Gar-Field for class.

"I can jog to Friendly," he said. "Just the environment, that's my home. I wouldn't want to play for nobody else. I'm transferring immediately, right after winter break. I told the (Gar-Field) coaches this was the best decision for me college wise."

Colleges were taking notice of Blake regardless.

During the season, Blake took unofficial visits to Penn State for the Purdue game, and Rutgers for the loss against West Virginia.

"It was nice," he said of Penn State. "The stadium was huge and the crowd was just loud. I liked the college atmosphere and tradition there.

"Rutgers had nice facilities. It was quieter than Penn State, but it was nice. I liked it."

Blake, who said he keeps in touch with Virginia, Penn State and Connecticut through email, and Stanford by phone, would like to learn more about the Irish.

"I like Notre Dame," Blake said. He has a 2.3 GPA. "They have a nice young team, some nice quarterbacks. I like Notre Dame a lot." Top Stories