September 1 marked the beginning of another contact period for high school recruits. This time frame is already reaping benefits for Crystal Lake (Illinois) Central lineman Wyatt Blake. On the 1st of the month, Blake landed a scholarship offer from Vanderbilt, his 6th of the process. Duke quickly followed the Commodores and extended an offer to the junior prospect on Labor Day.
“I kind of expected it because of the way coach was talking,” Blake told Today’s U. “I called him the day before and I thought he was going to offer me then, but then he wanted the head coach to do it. I called the next day. He said to give him a call, so I called him the next day and he said he had a lot of fun watching my highlight film.”
Great Labor Day surprise, blessed to have been offered by Duke university! pic.twitter.com/7VLZzfyyOP
— Wyatt Blake (@wyatt_blake75) September 5, 2016
Blake, who stands at 6-foot-4 and 305 pounds and maintains a 3.0 grade point average, admitted that he is relatively uninformed about the Blue Devils’ program. Duke is located in North Carolina, while Blake is stationed in the Midwest, so the 2018 recruit will need to research the program before engaging in serious talks with the Duke staff.
“They are pretty far away from me, but I know it’s a good school and I don’t know too much else about them,” Blake said. “I have a friend that moved down in Georgia who goes there.”
With the addition of Duke to his offer sheet, Blake claims scholarships from Central Michigan, Duke, Indiana, Missouri, Northwestern, Vanderbilt and Virginia. Many of these schools have also already been in touch with him over the past week.
“Probably Virginia, Missouri,” Blake identified as the schools he hears from the most. “I’ve heard a bunch of different ones, but those are probably the two most. Indiana and a lot of schools that have offered me too, like Duke.”
A common topic of conversation surrounding these schools is when they could host Blake on campus for a visit. The two-way player, who is receiving most of his interest at guard and center, previewed his potential visit schedule this fall.
“I think Indiana is going to be one,” he said. “Northwestern is definitely going to be one during bowl season. Missouri and there’s a couple other ones that are a possibility. I just have to talk to my parents about it.”
Since these schools are relatively spread out, Blake explained how distance from home will not be as large a factor in his recruitment as he once thought, stating that each visit makes the location of said school easier to handle.
“There’s good and bad to both situations if I go to Northwestern or if I go to Duke,” he said. “Northwestern is really close, so there’s positives and negatives to both.”
As a 2018 recruit, though, Blake’s collegiate decision is still far away; he does not foresee an announcement in the near future.
“Probably not until my signing day,” he said. “I’m not sure exactly when I would do it. I was thinking spring would be when I’d do it — spring of my junior year — but I’m probably not going to do it anymore. I’m going to wait a little bit longer.”
In the meantime, Blake is tending to his team and helping extend Crystal Lake Central’s perfect 2-0 record as far as he can. The Tigers’ top lineman worked mostly on adding power to his large frame and improving the speed of his feet. Blake thinks it’s paying off.
“I’m a different player than I was last year,” he said. “I’m a physical offensive lineman and I try to finish every block and I also work on my pass protection.”
Crystal Lake Central faces Prairie Ridge (2-0) at home this Friday.