Rutgers offers 2011 RB

Rutgers has offered a couple dozen members of the class of 2011 ,including extending an offer to a running back recently. The player also has offers from several other Big East schools, and is close to getting offers from several SEC schools. What does one of his coaches say about his recruitment?

When Manatee High of Bradenton, Fla., upset the nation's top-ranked team St. Thomas Aquinas of Fort Lauderdale 28-20 Friday in the Class 5A semifinals, Rutgers target Ace Sanders got plenty of accolades for catching two touchdowns.

But another Manatee player holding a Rutgers offer is 5-foot-9, 192-pound junior running back Mike Blakely, who rushed for 78 yards in the victory. He was offered by the Scarlet Knights about a month ago, and his recruitment is starting to pick up.

"He's going to get offered by everybody,'' said Manatee assistant coach Chris Conboy, who organizes the recruiting for the school. "(Florida offensive coordinator) Steve Addazio was out here the other day, and he said they were definitely going to offer him. I would imagine he's going to get offered by just about every school in the country.''

Blakely has rushed for more than 1,500 yards and is the team's third leading receiver. He entered the game against St. Thomas Aquinas with 28 catches.

"He's quick,'' Conboy said. "He's got good lateral movement, but is also 192 pounds and he can lower his shoulder and run people over. He's an all-around back. He's got great vision.''

Blakely is a powerful runner, utilizing a strong lower body and tremendous leg drive.

"He's a 4.50 (in the) 40, but on the field he has an extra gear,'' Conboy said. "He's extremely competitive. I've seen him pull away from guys I know we timed that were faster than him.

"I think he's got everything you want in a running back. The only thing is he can be a couple inches taller for some people, but I don't think running back is a position where they look too much for height.''

Conboy said Blakely already holds offers from Rutgers, Syracuse, West Virginia, Clemson and South Florida. He added a handful of schools were at the school this past week to see Blakely.

"Florida said they were going to offer him. South Carolina said they were going to offer him,'' Conboy said. "Georgia has looked at his film and sent him stuff, but they haven't officially offered him yet. I'd be really shocked if he didn't get an offer from all of them.''

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