Recruit update: LB H.B. Blades

WeAreSC caught up with standout linebacker H.B. Blades out of Plantation (Fla). The Trojans have topped his list of favorites for quite awhile now. Is that still the case?

WeAreSC- How is your season coming along?


Blades- "It's going really good.  We're ranked number one in 6-A. We won our district and we're 8-0 right now.  We have two more regular season games left and we're the number one seed in the South region of the state."


WeAreSC- Do you have any of your numbers so far?


Blades- "Yeah, I have 3 interceptions, 5 fumble recoveries, 3 sacks, and around 115 tackles."


WeAreSC- So it sounds like you're really getting after it.


Blades- "Yeah, we put in a new defense this year specifically to let me run around free and I'm just making tackles left and right."


WeAreSC- Talk about your game this past weekend.


Blades- "We played Coconut Creek and the score was 55-0.  It was our Homecoming.  I only played a quarter and a half so I only had 10 tackles.  It was like they weren't even trying to block me at all.  I was just coming through free every time.  The score was 35-0 in the first quarter and my coach didn't want anyone to get hurt so he put in all the second teamers."


WeAreSC- What linebacker spot are you playing at?


Blades- "I'm kind of a roamer.  I play strong-side, weak-side, and middle.  So a team won't know specifically where I'll line up because that's what happened last year.  A team knew specifically where I would line up and they'd just run the opposite way.  So with me bouncing around, they don't know where I'll line up."


WeAreSC- Are you playing any offense?


Blades- "No, not at this time.  Actually, I played fullback the first two games.  We ran three iso's and I ran all of them for first downs."


WeAreSC- Let's talk about recruiting.  Have you been getting a lot of calls lately?


Blades- "Yeah, I get a lot of calls and a lot of coaches are coming down to see me play and everything, and everyone I've talked to about my play is impressed."


WeAreSC- What schools do you talk to regularly over the phone?


Blades- "Well, almost everybody calls every week.  This phone rings off the hook, so I can't wait until the weekend on Saturday because the phone doesn't ring because they're working. [laughing]"


WeAreSC- Anything new as far as your recruitment is concerned?


Blades- "No.  You know, some of the smaller schools are starting to offer me, but that's about it.  I still have 23 offers now."


WeAreSC- Do you still talk to USC a lot?


Blades- "Yeah, I talk to SC a lot and that's where I'll most likely end up going.  My mom and I already talked about it and we have an understanding and everything. I tell my mom, nine times out of ten, that's where I'll end up unless something bad happens.  You know, based on how I feel, I feel comfortable there.  I know the coaches a lot better there and I know the way they coach. I can't say the same for other coaches because I don't know how they coach."


WeAreSC- What other schools are you still considering that trail USC right now?


Blades- "Virginia, Pitt, Kansas State, Michigan, and Auburn."


WeAreSC- "Have all of your favorites offered?


Blades- "Yes."


WeAreSC- Have you set up any official visits yet?


Blades- "I'm going to SC Thanksgiving weekend, the 29th, 30th, and 31st for the Notre Dame game, and I'm going to Pitt the 6th, 7th, and 8th of December, and I'm going to Kansas State the second weekend of January.  Those are the only one's I have set up right now because the state championships don't end down here until the second weekend of December."


WeAreSC- So are you coming up for your official to USC after your game that week?


Blades- "I'm coming after my game because its Thanksgiving weekend and we'll probably play on Wednesday or Thursday."


WeAreSC- What coach do you talk to most often over the phone?


Blades- "I talk to Coach Carroll, Coach Holt, and Coach Kiffin."


WeAreSC- What do you think of the coaches you keep in contact with?


Blades- "I love Coach Holt.  You know, he's everything I want in a coach.  Coach Kiffin, he recruits my area.  He recruits the Florida players.  Not too many people from down here want to go out of state really.  Everybody wants to go to Florida, Florida State, or Miami, but there's a few of us who want to go out of state.  So he recruits my area and I met him first.  Then I went to the camp and I got to know Coach Holt and how he coaches and everything and I like the way he coaches a lot."


WeAreSC- Which coaches from USC did you talk to last week?


Blades- "I talked to Coach Carroll and Coach Holt.  They talked to me about my film and how they're impressed and everything.  We talked about what was going on with me and what was going on with them.  They talked to me about what positions I'll play.  They said I'll have to know middle linebacker and WILL.  They said that I'll primarily be a WILL backer but they want me to know middle.  I can play all of the positions really, because I'm quick enough to play WILL and I'm big enough to stop the iso in the middle. So I can do a variety of things.  I'm not just one-dimensional."


WeAreSC- I know you watched the Auburn game, but have you seen any other games recently?


Blades- "Yeah, I saw the Auburn game and the Kansas State game.  We don't get a lot of games from out west though.  You know, I see the highlights though and I read about them in the paper the next day."


WeAreSC- Are you watching Florida native Mike Williams?


Blades- "Yeah, he had 13 catches for over 200 yards or something?  I like seeing that a lot because it shows that the best player will play.  No matter what grade you're in, or how old you are, or any of that.  If I need a year to develop then I can red-shirt, but if they think I'm ready, then I'm ready to play."


WeAreSC- What's your current height and weight?


Blades- "I'm 6'1 and 230 to 233 pounds.  It ranges.  Like after practice I'll be 229, then by the time the week's over I'll be up to 230 to 231."


WeAreSC- Have the coaches at USC talked to you about what weight they'd like you to come in at?


Blades- "Like around 230, the weight I'm at right now."


WeAreSC- Is there any chance you could reach an early decision, or do you plan to go through the whole process?


Blades- "There's a good possibility I'm going to commit early, but I'm probably not going to make it public until signing day."


WeAreSC- So who do you play this week?


Blades- "We have Stranahan.  They're a playoff team in 5-A.  If we come out and play we can beat anyone we want to.  I don't see any other team that can beat us." Top Stories