Loyola (Los Angeles, Ca.) S Kelly Blake missed most of his junior season after suffering a back injury during the spring of his sophomore year, so a lot of people in recruiting circles didn't know much about him heading into his senior season.
That all changed when he showcased his overall skills this past season for Loyola, hauling in 18 receptions for 301 yards and three touchdowns on offense while posting 64 tackles, three tackles-for-loss, three pass breakups, one forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a league-leading six interceptions from his safety spot on defense.
"I played both safety and wide receiver this year and I could play either one of them in college, but I'd say I prefer defense more," Blake told Dawgman.com. "I love to hit and I'd much rather be the hitter than the guy getting hit.
"I also think I bring that defensive mentality to the game and I love to compete."
On the recruiting front, several schools are giving Blake a long look, but so far, he's still waiting for his first offer.
"The main schools that I have been talking to are Washington, a couple of Ivy League schools -- Princeton, Yale -- Stanford and UC Davis," Blake noted. "Louisville has actually been talking to me more and Boston College just came out recently and talked to me so hopefully something will happen with them."
Currently, the only official that Blake has set up is with Washington.
"I went up ther for the Oregon game and I had a great time," Blake said. "I have a lot of family up there, so they are definitely a school I am high on. I'm taking an official visit there this weekend and I'll see where I stand with them. Currently they only have a preferred walk-on for me and I'm interested in looking into that, but I also want to see if anyone is going to offer me and then see what happens."
Stanford and Cal are two other programs that have offered Blake preferred walk-on status.
"He's a great kid and he's really smart," Loyola head coach Marvin Sanders added. "If he'd been available for his entire junior season, I think a lot more schools would be after him and a lot more people would know about him.
"He's super-talented. We have a ton of faith in him and whatever we asked him to do, he gave it 100% and he really was a dominant force for us in the secondary.
"He led our league (the Mission League) in interceptions and with the talent that comes out of this league, we have guys all over our league who wind up signing with major college programs, for him to lead the conference in interceptions, that says a lot about his abilities as a player."
Dawgman.com will have more on Blake after his official visit concludes on Sunday.