Kiski Area’s Kenny Blake overcomes obstacles to earn scholarship offer from Army

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Tuesday, July 28, 2020 | 6:02 PM


Kiski Area coach Sam Albert has been confused about rising senior Kenny Blake and his recruitment.

Just last year, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound athlete rushed for 980 yards and 11 touchdowns on just 168 carries in seven games at running back. He also recorded 26 tackles and picked off one pass at defensive back.

Before this past weekend, Blake only had one scholarship offer.

“It’s not like he’s 5-foot-8,” Albert said. “So when you look at his size and the way he runs, I don’t get it. I really don’t.

“I mean he had the offer from Albany, which is a good school, but I just didn’t understand why the bigger schools hadn’t offered him.”

When Army called to check on another player of Albert’s, the recruiter asked him if he had any other kids that they should take a look at. Albert immediately said ,“Yeah, Kenny Blake,” gave him Blake’s measurements and told him a little more about him.

“He texted me back and goes, ‘Yo, I love this kid,’” Albert said with a laugh. “And I went, ‘Oh yeah.’ After I talked to him a little bit more, he said they were going to look into him more.”

This past weekend, Blake announced an offer from Army and while he was ecstatic about it, he’s also excited to see what the offer does for the rest of his recruitment.

“Whenever (Army) got in touch with me, I thought it might just be another school that was just trying to reach out and wouldn’t offer,” Blake said. “But they were really interested and when they offered, I was like, ‘Oh, this is a big deal. Not only is this a good school, but it will also open the doors for other schools to come in and recruit me too.’ So it was big for me.”

While the offer was a big one for Blake, the question about why he hasn’t received too many offers remains. One thought both Albert and Blake had involved the lack of tape of him at defensive back. As an athletic playmaker, Albert had Blake marking every team’s best receiver, and the longtime coach said most teams didn’t throw his way.

“I was talking with Cincinnati, and they asked if I had any more film on Kenny at DB,” Albert said. “I said, ‘First off, I know this sounds like an excuse, but he’s our best corner and no one throws that way. So we started putting him on everyone’s best receiver.’”

There’s also the fact that Blake hasn’t been able to attend any camps or showcases this summer because of the coronavirus pandemic. He said a major goal of his was to attend several camps and get in front of coaches even more after a breakout junior year.

“It’s a big problem. I was supposed to go to a bunch of Division I camps this offseason, different schools and, like, the Rivals camps and stuff like that,” Blake said. “So the virus has kind of messed all of that up for me, but I’ve still been doing what I can to get the offers and get the looks from coaches.”

Albert said he believes Blake will turn a few more heads if and when the Cavaliers take the field this season.

“I really think so,” Albert said. “He’s first in every drill at practices when he doesn’t have to be. It’s not like somebody is going to beat him out. But he’s first in every drill, every sprint and he’s working that hard. He’s also grown too.”

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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