What are Blake’s strengths as a football player?
Mark Schmid: Blake is a tremendous competitor. He has an incredible gift of speed, and he’s a guy we utilized to stretch the field vertically and get some explosive plays out of. Ever since he came up to play varsity as a sophomore he’s been able to give that to us and help us in that way. The thing about him is that when the lights came on on Friday nights he became a player. He definitely got in the zone, and was a big playmaker for us.
What do you think will be the biggest transition for him moving from the high school game to the Big 12 Conference?
Mark Schmid: The majority of players in high school are just high school kids that work hard and want to be a part of something good and have a good time playing. Going into the Big 12 at Oklahoma State there’s going to be 11 great players on the field. That’s the transition every kid faces when they go to a big-time program like OSU. There won’t be any slouches out there on the field anymore. They have to make that adjustment that whoever is lined up against them will be one of the best in the country.
Do you think he has a chance to make an instant impact or will there be an adjustment period for him?
Mark Schmid: It’s hard to say. Blake is the kind of guy that has the confidence and he believes that when he steps foot on the campus at OSU that he’s got a chance to get on the field. I think he could definitely make an impact on special teams as a returner early on because of his speed and quickness. From what I’ve been told the plans are for him to be an inside receiver or slot receiver, so they can get the (isolations) and matchups that they want with his speed. I could see him making contributions as a freshman on special teams.
Why do you think he chose Oklahoma State?
Mark Schmid: Way back when this whole recruiting process started for him, Oklahoma State was one of the schools that was on his list. I ask our kids to give us their wish list (of college schools) and Oklahoma State was one of them for Blake. The history and the tradition of the football program, and the type of offense that they run with the wide-open, fast-paced, exciting, throwing-the-ball around ...I think if you’re any kind of receiver you would love to play in that kind of offense and I believe that’s one of the reasons that Blake was so high on them.
What do you think he is capable of accomplishing over the course of his college career at OSU?
Mark Schmid: I think there will be some parallels with what happened here at high school. Blake played as a sophomore and made some things happen for us, then as a junior he was a year older, a year stronger, a year faster, a year wiser and he was able to do more, and then his senior year week in and week out he was a dominant player on Friday night. I kind of see the parallel when he gets to OSU. It’s going to take a little while but I think by the end of his playing days there he will be one of the best receivers in the Big 12.
What will you remember the most about coaching him?
Mark Schmid: Blake is kind of a loose kid, as far as he’s very relaxed and he likes to have fun. He always has a real positive disposition at practice. Being around a guy like that at practice it makes you as a coach have fun too. He enjoyed the game, had fun with the game ... now on Friday nights he became a different person. He got into his zone and he was a major competitor. He was a guy who we felt like any time we needed something to happen we were going to find a way to get him the ball. We’re going to miss him, no doubt about it. We’re trying to put our pieces together for next year and that’s one of the things we’ve come to realize already. When you’ve him for three years you kind of get used to having him but when he’s not coming back you’re faced with asking yourself which direction are we heading now? We loved having him. He’s a great kid and I think OSU is going to enjoy him being a part of the program.