This was his moment. As the ball was tipped into the air, Blake went to make a play he had made on numerous occasions in his short football career. Everything felt surreal.
Could this be real? He dreamt about making a play like this, for the school he grew up idolizing, and now it was right in front of him. Nothing could be easier, nothing could be more satisfying, nothing could be more perfect.
It was his time to shine; for the first time in his life, Blake would become a star. This was the play of plays...long after his playing career was over, people would point to him and say..."Hey your that guy!"
Indeed..he would be that guy. A hero amongst those in the State of Texas, the savior of a national championship season. A freshman today, a legend tomorrow. Immortality was his and he knew it.
Blake couldn’t help it...he was smiling inside.
At this same time last year Blake was busy leading his high school to an area championship in tiny Leander, TX.
Not much to Leander, just another small town in Texas that loves it’s football and loves it’s country music. What a difference a year can make.
Blake wasn’t sure what kind of impact he could make in his first year on the 40 acres. After all, he was just a two star recruit not heavily pursued by many top tier programs and Texas was known to be somewhat of a defensive back factory in recent years. They had put players such as Quentin Jammer, Nathan Vasher, Cedric Griffin, Aaron Ross, Michael Huff, Michael Griffin, and Marcus Griffin into the NFL.
All Blake did was work extremely hard throughout the spring and summer and to his surprise, was thrust into the starting lineup opposite fellow freshman Earl Thomas in his very first game as a longhorn.
The Longhorns were in the process of having another special season. They came into Lubbock the number one team in the country and Texas Tech looked to be the last opponent with a realistic shot at standing in their way of reaching their goal: A National championship, their first since 2005.
Not a bad way to start out his career he thought, I mean not only was he a true freshman starting safety for one of the most storied programs in all of college football, but he would also make the play that would be looked at by most as being the most pivotal play that made their goal possible. Hollywood could not have scripted this moment any better.
Back to reality.
You know that saying that goes, If something seems too good to be true it usually is…The play was tipped by Tech receiver Edward Britton..Blake ran towards the ball…This was it…This was his moment.
As Gideon went to cradle the ball..(I think you know the rest). No..it would not be Blake’s moment.
That drop would prove costly. Instead of making the game sealing interception Tech would drive down the field, score a touchdown on the last second of the game, and shatter the Horns National Title hopes.
The son of a coach, Blake was crushed.
But as they say the show must go on, Blake had an excellent season the rest of the way and the Horns did win the fiesta bowl, giving Mack a 3-0 record in such games.
But for Gideon, guess he’ll have to wait till this year for immortality. As it turns out in '09, he was but one catch away.