Blake Hester, along with his back-field mates from a year ago, Braxton Ratliff and Aroq Colburn, accounted for over 80% of the Tomcats total ground production with their combined 2,525 yards. Hester, who was just a sophomore, gained 773 of the yards in 120 carries and scored 6 TDs carrying the football. Hester averaged, a year ago, 6.44 yards a carry. Blake also caught 14 passes for 150 yards for another 2 TDs and tallied his 9th touchdown of the year on special teams. In addition to playing running back and being a home run threat on special teams, Hester is a corner on defense. Ashland Blazer didn’t report defensive stats on the Riehards KHSAA football scoreboard, however we found a piece extolling the abilities of Hester composed by an outfit called EA365Sports.com, and they seemed rather impressed with Hester on the defensive side of the ball in addition to his offensive production.
In his EA365Sports.com profile, the author notes…Blake has all the physical tools that you look for in a corner: hips, feet, change-of-direction and the ability to make up ground if caught out of position. He plays primarily in a bail technique keying the QB and breaking on the ball when the ball comes his way. Has showed toughness and willingness in run support. He is a good leaper ad will attack the ball in the air on both sides of the ball. Short area quickness and man-to-man cover skills are very impressive. Blake is 5-9 and weighs a reported 155 pounds who runs a registered 40 yard dash time of 4.6 seconds and shuttles in 4.31. One thing from his profile which appears particularly impressive to me is his 35 inch vertical. That type of vertical explosion indicates the accuracy of his recruiting profile detailing Blake…[r]eaches top speed quickly and that striking speed to power combination produces great yards after contact production. The vertical is being tested more and more these days at football combines owing to the well-held belief that a 35 inch vertical is demonstrative of stinking speed to power. Recruiters get told a lot of crap out there on the recruiting trail, but a 35 inch vertical satisfies many I know that the 4.6 forty speed is legitimate.
We think Blake Hester has the speed and frame to play on either side of the ball and also believe Hester will be among the fastest players in the Commonwealth before it is all said and done. Going forward this is a prospect who will get both FBS and FCS attention and should be holding several offers not too distant from the end of this next season, rolling into the senior year. Whether those offers will be as a RB, a corner, or even just the catch-all Athlete tag, we don’t know, but this is a Division 1 college prospect.
This is Fletcher Long, reporting for KPGFootball reminding you to PLAY THROUGH THE WHISTLE!
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