DE Blackwood has great visit, gets big offer

Rohan Blackwood is an emerging defensive end from Nature Coast who's name will soon be very well known. The 6-foot-5, 205 pound defensive end visited Tampa for USF junior day and picked up his first in-state offer. See what he thought about the visit and getting the offer from Coach Taggart and staff.

Nature Coast's Rohan Blackwood, a 6-foot-5, 205 pound defensive end has just starting the recruiting process and seeing schools.

"I just got back from seeing USF for junior day and it was really a good time," said Blackwood."I really liked the campus, and the coaches were pretty cool and I enjoyed myself."

The Nature Coast defensive end got to see the campus and it was different than he expected

"I didn't think the campus was going to be that big and nice," said Blackwood. "I thought it would be more like downtown, but it was really landscaped nice and pretty cool."

He also got to see the Bulls football facilities and newly renovated locker rooms.

"The facilities were real nice and set up well," said Blackwood. "They had a big weight room and the locker rooms were real cool, they had green lights up in there and were real modern with big flat screen TVs and had a nice set up. We just walked by the practice fields, but they were nice and had a field turf to practice on also."

While on the visit Blackwood got to spend time with Bulls Defensive line Coach Eric Mathies, his recruiting coordinator Coach Walt Wells, and Head Coach Willie Taggart and liked the feel he got from them.

"They were very down to earth people and were straight up and truthful with me and I liked that," said Blackwood. "Coach Taggart is a really cool guy and a passionate coach, the kind of guy I could see playing for."

He also liked what they said to him while he was on the visit about himself and what they see for the team.

"They were just being straight and telling me to stay on top of things and keep focused," said Blackwood. "They also told me that they were trying to change things at USF and get back to playing at a top level and winning. After talking with them, I believe it can be done."

Blackwood got to attend the Bulls hoops game and after wards got to speak with Head Coach Willie Taggart and got some big news.

"After the game I was talking with Coach T, and he wanted to let me know that he was offering me a scholarship and wanted me to play there," said Blackwood. "It felt great to get an offer from a big school and from the head coach.

Blackwood got offered from UMASS last year, but this was his first big offer from and it was from a local school.

"This was a big offer and it was my first instate offer so that's big," said Blackwood. "I'm saying I have to stay in state, but if I do it would be straight with me. That way I'd be close enough to home and people could come see me play."

Before going into the visit Blackwood didn't know much about the school or the staff, but that all changed and the visit had a very positive affect.

"I didn't know what to expect, but while I was there I felt welcomed and very comfortable around the staff," said Blackwood. "They're a good group of coaches and if I did decide to go there, I would mind being around them. They're seemed like they know what they want to do and get that program going again."

With it being early in the recruiting process Blackwood doesn't have a top school list, but did say the Bulls improved their stock with him after the trip.

"No I haven't really made out a favorite list," said Blackwood. "But the visit to USF definitely helped how their chances and how I feel about the program."

Blackwood plans on checking out more schools this spring and plans on seeing UCF March 23rd and FSU wants him to visit at the end of the month. He also knows what things he's looking for when he does make a decision.

"I first got to see what I want to major in and make sure the school has it, but most important I need to feel comfortable with the staff and the school I'll be at.

During his junior season Blackwood recorded 15 sacks, 69 tackles, 21 tackles for a loss, 2 forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and 3 pass break-ups. He also caught 3 touchdown passes on offense, earning first-team all-North Suncoast and second-team all-Suncoast honors.

"I play both ways but see myself playing on defense," said Blackwood. "My best part of my game is my aggressiveness and my physicality."

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