Add another name to the list of college football prospects who've picked up their first verbal scholarship offer before graduating from middle school—Georgia playmaker Dominick Blaylock.
The young standout is an eighth-grade student at Dickerson Middle School in Cobb County. He secured an offer from South Carolina on Saturday during a campus visit:
Blaylock, the son of former New Jersey Nets first-round draft pick and eventual Atlanta Hawks All-Star Mookie Blaylock, was as stunned to receive the news as many of you may be.
“I was shocked that when I met the coaches, they went straight to the point with the offer," he told Michael Carvell of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I had no words. I didn't know what to say. All I could say was ‘Thanks, coach.’”
Though it's difficult to predict how a 14-year-old will physically develop during his high school career, Blaylock projects as an offensive prospect. He's gained an early reputation as a dangerous threat at wide receiver and out of the backfield.
Blaylock was named a top-10 performer at the Adidas Middle School and Elite Talent Football showcase last month.
"Blaylock really shined during 1-on-1’s and 7-on-7’s, releasing off his routes and catching passes time and time again," observed Alan Popadines of Youth1.com. "At the showcase Blaylock took reps exclusively at wide receiver, as he hopes to see varsity time as a freshman in the slot or wing position next year."
He lives in an area that sends students to Walton High School. Blaylock is already well built for his age, standing 5'11", 165 pounds, per the Journal-Constitution.
This level of collegiate interest for a player closer to elementary school than his senior season has become more expected during recent years. Blaylock could accumulate several more scholarship offers before recording his first high school reception.
"Dominick got invited to five Junior Days, so I think other offers are coming," his stepfather, John Woods, told the Journal-Constitution.
Blaylock has a pair of brothers—Zack and Daron—who currently play football at Kentucky. SEC opportunities are now suddenly opening for him.
He joins a collection of promising young athletes who landed on the national recruiting radar incredibly early.
Middle school wide receiver Blake Hinson added an offer from Florida earlier this month. Top-rated 2017 prospect Dylan Moses became a hot commodity in SEC territory before high school and pledged to LSU midway through his freshman season.
2015 4-star New Jersey quarterback Jarrett Guarantano received the first of more than 40 scholarship offers well before making his first varsity start. Tyreke Johnson, a freshman at Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, claimed a dozen offers before last fall.
The way things are trending, Blaylock assuredly won't be the last player among his peers to gain college opportunities this spring.
Like it or not, the Class of 2019 has suddenly stepped up to steal its share of the spotlight.
Recruit ratings courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted.