Four-star Back Enjoys South Carolina

Manatee HS (Bradenton, Fla.) four-star RB Mike Blakely visited South Carolina this past weekend while accompanying his good friend, former teammate and incoming freshman Gamecock receiver Ace Sanders as he started life as one of the newest members of this years Gamecock football team.

Blakely, a talented prospect in his own right, was quick to mention that one of the main reasons he visited Columbia this past weekend was to support his longtime friend Ace Sanders.

"We've been playing football together since I was in the seventh grade," he said. "Going with Ace to Columbia was kind of like a going away trip [for him]. It was an opportunity for us to hang out together. Ace is, and will always be my boy."


Blakely says his excitement level and eagerness to learn new things while visiting South Carolina was high.

"They had 5:30 workouts while I was there and I was so excited to see everything," he said. "I was the one waking Ace up getting us ready to go. I was just ready go! I really had a good time."

Blakely's glimpse of what the university and the Gamecock football program had to offer didn't end there.

"I saw a lot more of the school, and I saw how the people work with the students," Blakely said. "That was something I really wanted to see. I've been to plenty of schools and they are all really the same. They all feed you. They are all going to help you. Its college, so you know you're gonna have fun too! I really just wanted to get to know the people. I got a chance to get to know some of the players coming in with Ace. I stayed with him in his dorm. I basically wanted to see how it feels to be in a college person's shoes for one day, and I got to do that today."

Blakely also had the opportunity to meet with several members of the coaching staff during his visit to get to know them better.

"I met with my recruiting coordinator early this morning (G.A. Mangus), my position coach yesterday (Jay Graham) and I met with Coach Spurrier this morning too," he said.

Blakely expounded on his meeting with Coach Spurrier.

"I just love him as a person," Blakely said. "He comes across like somebody I would want to be around. He's a coach, that if you need something then he's gonna help you however he can. He's real cool with the players and he's right there for them if they need anything."

Blakely mentioned that most of the schools recruiting him plan to use him the same way. And that the coaches at South Carolina were no different.

"They talked about using me at the slot position and at running back and letting me go just make plays. They may even use me in the kick return game and things like that."

As a highly recruited prospect that holds 35 offers, Blakely says that he is looking for somewhere that feels like a second home when he takes these recruiting visits.

"Some place I can go chill and relax and get the work done I need to get done, a place where I have no worries about family being able to come see me, and a place that I have no worries about being able to get on a plane to go see my family and it taking a long time," he said. "A flight to Sarasota from South Carolina is something I can easily do. It's something that shouldn't be a problem at all."

Although Blakely has a list of criteria he is using to narrow his search down, he's confident that where ever he ends up going he's going to be able to contribute immediately.

"I know with my type of skills I can go anywhere and play right away," he says. "I might not get the starting job at first but I know I can get a couple of snaps a game right away and that's something I want to do, and know I can do."

Of his 35 offers, Blakely has narrowed his focus to six schools: Florida, Auburn, South Carolina, Southern Cal, Ole Miss, and Tennessee. Of those six schools Blakely said three of them at the moment seem to stand out above the others.

"I have a top three of Auburn, Florida and South Carolina among my top 6 schools right now. Those three stand out the most right now. The other three are all even behind them."

Asked about a timeframe for a decision Blakely said, "I'm planning on taking all five of my official visits, but if I come a across a school I just fall in love with, then that's gonna be my school, but I want to take all of my visits."

Blakely also talked about how much of a factor it would be at Ace Sanders is at South Carolina now.

"Me and Ace have both talked about South Carolina, and he knows that this is going to be my decision," Blakely said. "As for Ace being at South Carolina, that is going to help them a lot because that's my brother. I know if he likes something, then I'm going to like it too. I don't know why that is, but that's just the way it is with us."

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories

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\r\nBlakely says his excitement level and eagerness to learn new things while visiting South Carolina was high.

\r\n \"They had 5:30 workouts while I was there and I was so excited to see everything,\" he said. \"I was the one waking Ace up getting us ready to go. I was just ready go! I really had a good time.\"\r\n

\r\nBlakely's glimpse of what the university and the Gamecock football program had to offer didn't end there. \r\n

\r\n\"I saw a lot more of the school, and I saw how the people work with the students,\" Blakely said. \"That was something I really wanted to see. I've been to plenty of schools and they are all really the same. They all feed you. They are all going to help you. Its college, so you know you're gonna have fun too! I really just wanted to get to know the people. I got a chance to get to know some of the players coming in with Ace. I stayed with him in his dorm. I basically wanted to see how it feels to be in a college person's shoes for one day, and I got to do that today.\"\r\n

\r\nBlakely also had the opportunity to meet with several members of the coaching staff during his visit to get to know them better.

\r\n \"I met with my recruiting coordinator early this morning (G.A. Mangus), my position coach yesterday (Jay Graham) and I met with Coach Spurrier this morning too,\" he said.

\r\n\r\nBlakely expounded on his meeting with Coach Spurrier.

\r\n\r\n \"I just love him as a person,\" Blakely said. \"He comes across like somebody I would want to be around. He's a coach, that if you need something then he's gonna help you however he can. He's real cool with the players and he's right there for them if they need anything.\"\r\n

\r\nBlakely mentioned that most of the schools recruiting him plan to use him the same way. And that the coaches at South Carolina were no different.

\"They talked about using me at the slot position and at running back and letting me go just make plays. They may even use me in the kick return game and things like that.\"\r\n

\r\nAs a highly recruited prospect that holds 35 offers, Blakely says that he is looking for somewhere that feels like a second home when he takes these recruiting visits.\r\n\r\n

\"Some place I can go chill and relax and get the work done I need to get done, a place where I have no worries about family being able to come see me, and a place that I have no worries about being able to get on a plane to go see my family and it taking a long time,\" he said. \"A flight to Sarasota from South Carolina is something I can easily do. It's something that shouldn't be a problem at all.\"\r\n

\r\nAlthough Blakely has a list of criteria he is using to narrow his search down, he's confident that where ever he ends up going he's going to be able to contribute immediately.

\"I know with my type of skills I can go anywhere and play right away,\" he says. \"I might not get the starting job at first but I know I can get a couple of snaps a game right away and that's something I want to do, and know I can do.\"\r\n

\r\nOf his 35 offers, Blakely has narrowed his focus to six schools: Florida, Auburn, South Carolina, Southern Cal, Ole Miss, and Tennessee. Of those six schools Blakely said three of them at the moment seem to stand out above the others.\r\n

\"I have a top three of Auburn, Florida and South Carolina among my top 6 schools right now. Those three stand out the most right now. The other three are all even behind them.\"\r\n

\r\nAsked about a timeframe for a decision Blakely said, \"I'm planning on taking all five of my official visits, but if I come a across a school I just fall in love with, then that's gonna be my school, but I want to take all of my visits.\"\r\n

\r\nBlakely also talked about how much of a factor it would be at Ace Sanders is at South Carolina now.

\"Me and Ace have both talked about South Carolina, and he knows that this is going to be my decision,\" Blakely said. \"As for Ace being at South Carolina, that is going to help them a lot because that's my brother. I know if he likes something, then I'm going to like it too. I don't know why that is, but that's just the way it is with us.\"\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"Blakely, a talented prospect in his own right, was quick to mention that one of the main reasons he visited Columbia this past weekend was to support his longtime friend Ace Sanders. \"We've been playing football together since I was in the seventh grade,\" he said. \"Going with Ace to Columbia was kind of like a going away trip [for him]. It was an opportunity for us to hang out together. Ace is, and will always be my boy.\" Blakely says his excitement level and eagerness to learn new things while visiting South Carolina was high. \"They had 5:30 workouts while I was there and I was so excited to see everything,\" he said. \"I was the one waking Ace up getting us ready to go. I was just ready go! I really had a good time.\" Blakely's glimpse of what the university and the Gamecock football program had to offer didn't end there. \"I saw a lot more of the school, and I saw how the people work with the students,\" Blakely said. \"That was something I really wanted to see. I've been to plenty of schools and they are all really the same. They all feed you. They are all going to help you. Its college, so you know you're gonna have fun too! I really just wanted to get to know the people. I got a chance to get to know some of the players coming in with Ace. I stayed with him in his dorm. I basically wanted to see how it feels to be in a college person's shoes for one day, and I got to do that today.\" Blakely also had the opportunity to meet with several members of the coaching staff during his visit to get to know them better. \"I met with my recruiting coordinator early this morning (G.A. Mangus), my position coach yesterday (Jay Graham) and I met with Coach Spurrier this morning too,\" he said. Blakely expounded on his meeting with Coach Spurrier. \"I just love him as a person,\" Blakely said. \"He comes across like somebody I would want to be around. He's a coach, that if you need something then he's gonna help you however he can. He's real cool with the players and he's right there for them if they need anything.\" Blakely mentioned that most of the schools recruiting him plan to use him the same way. And that the coaches at South Carolina were no different. \"They talked about using me at the slot position and at running back and letting me go just make plays. They may even use me in the kick return game and things like that.\" As a highly recruited prospect that holds 35 offers, Blakely says that he is looking for somewhere that feels like a second home when he takes these recruiting visits. \"Some place I can go chill and relax and get the work done I need to get done, a place where I have no worries about family being able to come see me, and a place that I have no worries about being able to get on a plane to go see my family and it taking a long time,\" he said. \"A flight to Sarasota from South Carolina is something I can easily do. It's something that shouldn't be a problem at all.\" Although Blakely has a list of criteria he is using to narrow his search down, he's confident that where ever he ends up going he's going to be able to contribute immediately. \"I know with my type of skills I can go anywhere and play right away,\" he says. \"I might not get the starting job at first but I know I can get a couple of snaps a game right away and that's something I want to do, and know I can do.\" Of his 35 offers, Blakely has narrowed his focus to six schools: Florida, Auburn, South Carolina, Southern Cal, Ole Miss, and Tennessee. Of those six schools Blakely said three of them at the moment seem to stand out above the others. \"I have a top three of Auburn, Florida and South Carolina among my top 6 schools right now. Those three stand out the most right now. 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I don't know why that is, but that's just the way it is with us.\" ","skipOnMobile":false,"media":[{"id":"556347","name":"/Media/Image/55/556347","description":"","caption":"","mediaType":"gif","mediaCategory":"Image","keywords":"","height":225,"width":300,"size":6258,"hasThumb":true,"hasMediumThumb":true,"suppressForGallery":false,"siteId":147,"isActive":true,"nodes":[],"tags":[],"publishDate":"2008-06-06T15:11:16.2","createdBy":"51458","mediaSource":"Scout"}],"dateOverride":"2010-07-06T20:47:00","authorOverride":"Jason Ross","role":"GamecockAnthem.com","isPremium":true,"isHotNews":false,"isRumor":false,"syndicationFlag":true,"isClassified":true,"hotNamesLinked":true,"storyImage":"[MEDIA:777455]","mainImage":{},"thumbnailImage":"[THUMBNAIL:777455]","heroImage":{},"authorImage":"","tags":[{"id":"9817","name":"Louisville - Football"},{"id":"592","name":"Florida"},{"id":"600","name":"Tennessee"},{"id":"10040","name":"South Carolina - Football"},{"id":"10026","name":"Florida - Football"},{"id":"10034","name":"Mississippi - 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