Tag:Mike Blakely
Posted on: July 20, 2011 2:11 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 2:45 pm

Auburn RB Blakely's waiver denied; will redshirt

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It always seemed a longshot that running back Mike Blakely would see the field this season for Auburn.

A four-star recruit out of Bradenton, Fla., Blakely signed with Florida and enrolled in Gainesville in time for spring camp. But a closer look at the new Will Muschamp regime (and specifically Charlie Weis's pro-style offense) convinced him to transfer to the Plains. Even with Blakely's limited time as a Gator, his signature on his Letter of Intent means the NCAA's transfer rules dictate a year on the sidelines.

But Blakely and Auburn applied for a waiver from the NCAA, hoping that the coaching change and Blakely's injury-induced absence from Florida's spring practice might induce them to let Blakely skip the usual transfer penalty.

Per Blakely's own Twitter feed, that waiver is not happening:

Blakely will spend his redshirt year in 2011 and hit the field for Auburn for the first time in 2012.

While not exactly a surprise, the decision could prove to be a blow for an Auburn backfield not exactly swimming in depth. With stars Michael Dyer and Onterio McCalebb the only two true scholarship tailbacks on the spring roster, Gene Chizik already moved former cornerback Anthony Morgan to running back to shore things up. Incoming freshman recruit Tre Mason is expected to qualify (again, per his own Twitter feed) but has not yet officially been cleared and enrolled. If Mason for whatever reason does not clear the qualifying bar, the untested Morgan will be one injury away from likely seeing major carries.

Auburn would have other ways of dealing with this worst-case scenario -- athletic receiver/returner freshman Quan Bray is already slated to moonlight at running back -- but for a team with as much inexperience as the reigning national champions, it's one more headache Chizik and Co. would rather avoid.

Posted on: June 27, 2011 3:19 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2011 3:45 pm

RB Grant making switch from Alabama to Auburn

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

We've known for the past few weeks that now-former Alabama running back Corey Grant would be transferring from Tuscaloosa to some still-to-be-announced destination. And rumors have swirled throughout his home state ever since about that destination.

So it didn't come as much of a surprise to Tide or Tiger fans when Grant announced he would be transferring to play for the Tide's archrivals at Auburn.

But surprising or not, it's still a nearly unprecedented move. While this story from the Birmingham News illustrates how many coaches have gone from one side of the Iron Bowl rivalry to the other, you can count the number of players who made the swtich on one hand ... and those who have an impact at either location on just one or two fingers.

So Grant faces an uphill challenge, but it's one he reportedly feels more comfortable taking on the Plains, saying he "felt like I would be a better fit at Auburn." A class of 2010 four-star running back from nearby Opelika, the shifty "all-purpose" Grant passed over the Tigers in his initial commitment but failed to make as much headway as he'd hoped in the Tide's pro-style offense (as either an RB or receiver), and he will hope for better luck in the Tigers' more space-heavy spread system.

It won't be easy; after the transfer to Auburn of former Florida signee Mike Blakely (a back roughly similar to Grant's size and style), the Tiger backfield is starting to fill up, and Grant will be forced to sit out the 2011 season during his transfer year.

But if Grant can dent the Auburn 2012 playing rotation, or even become a star, he'll be making Iron Bowl history.

Posted on: May 25, 2011 12:04 pm

Former Florida commit transferring to Auburn

Posted by Chip Patterson

After being granted a full release from his scholarship, former Florida commit Mike Blakely will take his talents to SEC rival Auburn, according to local reports.

The four-star running back from Bradenton, FL originally committed to former Gators head coach Urban Meyer back in October, hoping to become the next Percy Harvin in Gainesville. Earlier this month, head coach Will Muschamp announced that Blakely had been granted a full release from his scholarship. The split was amicable, with Muschamp wishing him the best of luck.

Now Muschamp will get a chance to see how Blakely's career pans out out at Auburn. Before his commitment, the 5-9, 198 pound back had narrowed his selection down to the Gators and Tigers. Since he did not appear in a game with Florida, Blakely was free to transfer to another SEC school - though he will have to sit out the 2011 season according to NCAA rules.

Blakely had originally planned to participate in spring practice with the Gators, but missed all the workouts after undergoing unspecified shoulder surgery in late January.
Posted on: May 10, 2011 1:28 pm

Gators' frosh RB Blakely already transferring

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Mike Blakely hasn't played a down at Florida. He hasn't even played a down of practice, being forced to sit out spring practice after surgery on an injured shoulder.

But the early-enrolling class of 2011 running back has apparently seen enough to know the Gator program isn't for him. Head coach Will Muschamp has announced that Blakely is seeking a transfer and will be leaving Gainesville following this semester:
"Mike has come to the conclusion that the University of Florida is not where he wants to play football," Muschamp said. "We wish him the best of luck" ...

“Everyone at Florida has been very supportive of me in my time here and I'm thankful for the experience that I had, but I've made a decision to continue my college football career somewhere else," Blakely said.
Despite his limited time with the Gators, Blakely's signed letter-of-intent and early enrollment means he will be nonetheless required to sit out the 2011 season as a transfer. (We think; he may be seeking an NCAA waiver of some sort.)

One of the nation's top running back prospects last year -- he ranked at No. 66 overall in the Maxpreps top 100 and the No. 7 tailback -- Blakely was expected by many to challenge Chris Rainey, Mike Gillislee and the rest of the incumbent Gator tailbacks for the starting job in Charlie Weis's power-first pro-style overhaul.

But like most members of the Gators' class of 2011, Blakely had committed to Urban Meyer and the previous regime's spread look; per one early report, after getting a first-hand look at Weis's approach, the change in offensive scheme was enough to prompt the transfer request.

As for Blakely's next step, his destination is a matter of speculation, though it seems likely he'll look for an offense similar to the Meyer spread he originally committed to. What we do know is that the team adding him will be getting a potential playmaker whose stunningly brief Florida tenure shouldn't be the last we hear of him by any means.

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