June 12, 2013

Blacknall still shooting for summer decision

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CHICAGO - There were several top wide receivers over the weekend at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge at Soldier Field and Manalapan (N.J.) wideout Saeed Blacknall was not going to let anyone outdo him on the field. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder is already ranked as the No. 109 player in the class of 2014 and holds offers from the likes of Alabama, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State to name just a few of his 20-plus offers.

The setting of the Rivals Challenge was something new to most of the players but to a player like Blacknall who really never did the camp circuit, it was a lot to take in.

"It was a first for me, one of the first camps I have ever done and I learned a lot out here from all of these wonderful coaches and they taught me well," Blacknall said minutes after the camp ended. "A lot of technique things that I didn't even know yet, it was fun and a great experience."

Blacknall had 40 receptions for 740 yards and scored 16 touchdowns in his junior season and hopes that some of the things he learned can translate into even more success on the field as a senior.

"This is a different environment with the top players and then you go back to your high school and you are kind of like one step above now and you can handle them better now than before you left," Blacknall added.

There was one overriding lesson that Blacknall learned going up against the best competition in the nation in his high school class.

"I learned to keep competing," Blacknall said. "I know that there is always somebody out there that is better or as good as me and you just have to keep getting better because the grind never stops in this."

When it comes to recruiting, Blacknall admitted that he wanted to slow things down a little bit and didn't want to rush things but he still would like to know where he wants to go before the start of his senior season. He has LSU, Alabama and Notre Dame at the top but the Buckeyes remain in the mix as well.

"Ohio State, Urban Meyer speaks for himself," Blacknall said "He is an offensive guru and he knows what he is doing and he is wide receiver friendly too as well. That aspect plays a big part as well. I really want to see what they have to offer as well."

Blacknall has never been to the Ohio State campus but hopes to make a summer visit to check things out. The window of opportunity is narrow however with a late summer decision being in the works.

Many people believe that LSU may have separated itself from the pack in the eyes of Blacknall and he had a lot of complimentary things to say about the Tigers and new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.

"I have a major interest in them," Blacknall said of LSU. "Coach Cameron came in, he is the new offensive coordinator, so he has a new plan for the Tigers and it will be a different and unique season for them and I like the direction that they are heading and I could be a part of it one day."

But football is only part of the equation for Blacknall when it comes to finding out which school will be "the one" for him.

"(I am also looking at the) education, I want to feel comfortable and I want to find a place where I can reach all my goals and that the teachers, coaches and mentors all can help you get there," Blacknall said.


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