Cougs looking to hold Block party

NOT MANY PREP players start both ways as a sophomore. Not when one of the positions is quarterback, and not on a team like Bellevue, coming off three state championships at the time. But Eric Block isn't your typical prospect. The 6-0, 180 pound playmaker has already received his first collegiate offer courtesy of Washington State. He has WSU ties and has been a Cougar fan since he can remember, but is that enough for Washington State to be the frontrunner?

Block said it's too early for any favorites and he remains open to everyone. He mentioned Washington State, Washington, Stanford, Oregon, Cal and Michigan as among those he's interested in. He's sent his tape out to most of the Pac-10 schools, plus Michigan, Northwestern, Ole Miss and a few Ivy League schools. The early reviews have begun to roll in.

After seeing the appx. five minute long junior tape with both offensive and defensive highlights, Cougars coach Bill Doba offered Block last week as a safety.

"I've mostly heard from Wazzu," said Block. "A little bit from U-Dub, they said they saw the tape and liked it. (Coach Goncharoff) said he talked to some of the Ivy League schools and they liked it as well." (Follow the link at the bottom of the page to watch some of Block's tape.)

Block, who has a 3.85 GPA, said Washington told him they may be interested in him as a receiver. For his part, Block doesn't hold a preference between offense or defense. He's been starting on both sides of the ball since he was a 14 year old sophomore.

"I like playing center field out there as a safety," said Block. "There's an opportunity to make big plays."

AS FOR WSU, Block said he's closely followed the Cougs over the years.

"I like the coaches a lot, I think coach Doba is a really good guy," said Block. "I've been a Cougar fan since I was a little kid. My dad played wide receiver there."

Block said a campus visit will be one key to helping him decide where he's going to spend his college years. Academics, a school's coaching staff, and in particular his would-be position coach, will also factor in.

THE DE LA SALLE win in 2004, when Bellevue halted the nation's longest prep winning streak at 151 games, was Block's first varsity start, deftly running the Wolverines Wing-T from under center while applying the clamps in the secondary.

In 2005, Block was named as a junior to all the requisite first teams befitting a D-IA prospect -- all-area by the Seattle Times, all-state by the Associated Press and all-league.

His statistics were impressive but not necessarily of the eye-popping variety, not like some prospects you'll read about over the recruiting year. Block intercepted five passes as a junior, taking two to the house while offensively scoring six TDs and rushing for a pair of 100 yard games. But stats, and even the honors and accolades, aren't wholly indicative of Block as a football player according to Bellevue's coaches.

Calvin Clements, a Bellevue assistant last season, says Block is a natural at defensive back.

"His aptitude level for the game is off the charts," said Clements. "Combined with his athleticism, he can cover the entire field of play. We've been very comfortable and blessed to have him in the middle of the field...His reaction time to the ball and the player is exceptional."

Block, only 16 years old, has a maturity beyond his years, added Bellevue assistant Wes Warren.

"I think he's one of the most competitive kids that's ever walked through our halls," says Warren. "As a 14-year old sophomore quarterback, he was telling all-state seniors in the huddle during preseason practice (what to do). And everyone listened to him, responded to him and believed in him.

"He's just your prototypical leader. He's definitely a coach out there on the field...He's only going to grow and get better. He's such a pure athlete."

Eric Block profile and scouting video

NOTES:
Clements is the architect of the "2006 Gridiron Tour". The event this fall will feature some of the top high school teams from Washington, Oregon, Utah, and Canada at Husky Stadium on Sep. 9. Future plans call for teams from California, Las Vegas, and Texas to compete in the states of Washington, Oregon, Texas, California and Nevada. For more information, email info@playvarsity.com

Cougfan Top Stories