Standing 6’0” tall and weighing 215 lbs., Baily Blackney might not be one of the biggest prospects left on the market right now, but what he lacks in size he makes up for in heart. A grim reality of the game today is that sometimes it’s hard to get Division I coaches to overlook physical stats for the more telling on field statistics. Many recruiters at the DI level will simply look at a 6 foot 215-pound Defensive end on paper and won’t even bother to look at his tape.
Yes, it’s that cutthroat. But physical measurements are not Blackney’s strong point, where Baily truly shines is on film and that’s what I want to focus on for the rest of the article.
Defensive ends like Blackney are the kind of players that Offensive Lineman absolutely hate going against. Before the play they see a kid who’s a whole head shorter than them and about half a hundred pounds lighter. After the play they see someone who fights to the whistle, who makes you pay for underestimating him. It’s true: Blackney plays every down like a man possessed, his motor is unstopping. Play after play Blackney beats his man around the edge, sometimes not even being touched, and punishes the ball carrier. Even with Blackney’s pedal to the floor playstyle, he still seems to have enough body control at any given time to finesse his blocker and make a play.
My biggest criticism of Baily Blackney is that I don’t think he’s a DI DE, I think he’s a D1 MLB. I think Blackney will find a lot more success in transferring to a position that is more forgiving to his frame. A couple years at a D-II or JUCO could do him well, he’d have time to grow into this new position and eventually wow a couple of coaches. Right now his measurable look like that of a LB, sure maybe he could shave a couple tenths of a second off his 40 time, but the rest of his numbers compare to other LB’s that have signed with DI schools.
The biggest factor in determining the success of Blackney’s playing career right now, is his willingness to put in the work over the next 1 to 2 years. It may be a little late in the game for the bigger schools to pick him up, but he would be a god at any of the various smaller schools across the state of Texas or the country for that matter. But in my opinion, we’ll definitely be writing recruiting articles 2 years from now on Baily Blackney.
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