Tight End Prospect Has Almost 20 Offers

Blake Ayles, the 6-4, 235-pound tight end prospect from Orange (Calif.) Lutheran, could be the most-offered member of the 2008 class in the west so far. With almost 20 offers, he recently got one that meant a great deal to him, and he has a short list of favorites...

Orange (Calif.) Lutheran tight end Blake Ayles (6-4, 235) could be the most-offered prospect in the class of 2008 in the west so far.

He is rapidly approaching 20 scholarship offers, and an offer he received last week was one that truly stood out to him.

"I just got offered by Wisconsin," said Ayles. "That was my first one from the Big Ten and I was pretty stoked about it. Wisconsin is my dad's favorite school and we were always going to take a trip out there."

Ayles said his early top five are Wisconsin, USC, UCLA, Notre Dame and California.

"That's just my early list," said Ayles. "I want to take all of my official visits before I decide."

USC has a leg up for Ayles, with his Lancer teammates Mike Reardon and Aaron Corp both having signed with the Trojans earlier this month, and he said that they are definitely an enticing possibility.

"USC is the hometown team, I know Aaron and Mikem and my parents can go to my games," said Ayles. "They have been pretty actively recruiting me."

Ayles also is taking a close look at UCLA, having attended a few games this past fall at the Rose Bowl and also visiting the school for Junior Day this month.

"I was at UCLA a few weekends ago and it was great," said Ayles. "I loved that place, the campus is amazing. I talked with Coach (John) Wristen quite a bit."

Ayles said he was hoping to take an unofficial visit to Wisconsin and Notre Dame this spring or summer and may also visit California.

One of the top tight ends in the state this past year, regardless of class, Ayles was a key part of the Lancers' Division II State Championship squad. With Corp and Reardon gone, he will become one of the leaders of the team.

"I'm saying we're going to be like the Chicago Bears, an outstanding defense with a steady offense," said Ayles, who will also play defensive end this fall. "Our offense is kind of iffy, we don't have a quarterback, so I don't know what will happen there."

In the meantime, Ayles said he wants to improve in an area that commonly needs improvement for tight ends. "Mainly I want to work on my blocking," said Ayles. "I always want to block better. That and getting people off me and getting open, my separation."

Ayles is keeping busy in the football off-season, running track this spring for Orange Lutheran. "I run a 4.7 but I want to work on my speed a little more. And I'm trying to get my weight to 245-250," said Ayles.

During his all-state underclass junior year, Ayles had 43 catches for 616 yards and scored three touchdowns.

Academically, Ayles has a 3.2 GPA and will take the SAT in the spring.

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