Devon Blackmon thought last summer was intense. Until this summer.
The Summit High School quarterback with too many scholarship offers to keep track of – his estimate was 50, but it added a little perspective when he recalled that just yesterday he discovered an offer from Harvard rifling through a box of letters – has reduced his potential destinations to six: Alabama, Florida, Cal, Oregon, UCLA and USC.
“USC is temporary,” Blackmon said. “But those other five are solid. I might add one or drop one if the right offer comes in. It was time to say ‘Thanks, but no thanks’ to some of the coaches offering me.”
Since college coaches have been allowed to visit Summit (58 different schools have dropped by so far) and call Blackmon beginning June 1, the pursuit of Rivals.com’s No. 5 player in the country has risen to a new level of intensity, one that was written all over the 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior-to-be’s face. Blackmon is the No. 41 player in the nation, according to rivals.com and rated the country’s fifth-best receiver, the position at which most are recruiting him.
“In all my years coaching I’ve never seen a player get this kind of attention,” Summit coach Tony Barile said. “I don’t think he’ll get the entire scope of this until he can look back on it 10 or 15 years later.”
Blackmon, who runs a 4.41-second 40-yard dash, will start at quarterback for Summit and could play some wildcat quarterback in college. He’ll play some defensive back for the SkyHawks and will return kicks, a duty he’ll likely retain in college.
Among the collges no longer a potential destination are the remainder of the Pac-10, Texas, Utah, Nebraska, Colorado, Texas A&M, North Carolina and Boise State. Those were just the ones Blackmon remembered off the top of his head. Last summer was when most of those offers came Blackmon’s way after he attended a series of high profile camps.
“Last summer was the introducing of what I’m gonna be,” Blackmon said. “This summer, now that (college coaches) can talk to me, man it’s been crazy. A lot of them want me to cut down my list so I finally gave them a top 6. And they say it’s only gonna get worse.”
Blackmon doesn’t have a time table for his decision. He said it could come before the season but didn’t rule out declaring his intentions on signing day Feb.3. He’ll take official vists to Florida, Alabama and North Carolina, who was his first offer last summer, but doesn’t want to waste official visits on the California schools within driving distance.
Here are a few of his highlights from last season: