Florida State Offers 8th-Grade Recruit Blake Hinson in Football and Basketball

Damon Sayles@@DamonSaylesNational Recruiting AnalystMay 6, 2015

Could Florida State be the future home for Class of 2019 two-sport athlete Blake Hinson? Football coach Jimbo Fisher (pictured) probably wouldn't mind having him.
Could Florida State be the future home for Class of 2019 two-sport athlete Blake Hinson? Football coach Jimbo Fisher (pictured) probably wouldn't mind having him.Associated Press

College football recruiting purists won't like this. However, it's what's happening in sports.

On Tuesday, Florida State offered Class of 2019 athlete Blake Hinson. Twice.

Hinson, a two-sport standout at Warner Christian Academy in South Daytona, Florida, received scholarship offers in both football and basketball, per Chris Nee of 247Sports. It's rare to see an athlete offered in two sports.

It's even rarer to see an eighth-grader offered at all. According to Nee, this is the second time Hinson's gotten offers for both sports. The first double-offer was from the Miami Hurricanes.

Is it too early to offer an eighth-grader? It's a valid question, but perhaps here's a better one: Is Hinson the typical eighth-grader?

At first glance, the answer is no. Hinson is a 6'5", 200-pound athlete who already has varsity experience in both sports. Athletically, he's a specimen, and as a football player, he now has offers from Florida State, Miami, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina and Kentucky.

On the football field, Hinson caught 24 passes for 518 yards and four touchdowns last season, per Florida Gridiron Preps. He proved to be a matchup problem for many defensive backs he competed against, regardless of age.

Hinson is a "rare breed," possessing great body control in addition to his size and strength, according to Alan "Pops" Popadines, national youth scouting director and football editor at Youth1.com

In many respects, he's already physically ready to take his game to the next level.

"Something that makes him special is that his size creates such a big window for any quarterback to throw to," Popadines said. "He's the ultimate security blanket who can win jump balls. With his wingspan, if the ball is thrown in his vicinity, he'll more than likely catch it or at least make a play on it so it's not picked off."

As good of a football player as he is, basketball may be his ticket to athletic success. Hinson's an agile, super-versatile athlete for someone his age and size.

According to MaxPreps.com, he averaged 22.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks per game—as an eighth-grade student playing on varsity against high school athletes.

Hinson's family background bleeds athleticism. His father is Denny Hinson, a former Central Florida basketball player who now coaches basketball at Deltona High School in Florida.

Hinson's older brother is Deltona High's Evan Hinson, a 2016 tight end who committed to Miami in February. Evan also is a two-sport standout who is expecting to play football and basketball for the Hurricanes.

There are some who feel offering Hinson in two sports at such a young age is risky. Actually, there may not be a better time to do it. Athletes are committing earlier and earlier (Miami already has three freshmen commits), which means coaches are making earlier pushes for young, talented players.

A player like Hinson already has shown that he has the physical and athletic tools to compete. An early offer gives a school the opportunity to say that it was recruiting Hinson from the beginning—which ultimately could be an advantage later if Hinson manages to land a very high number of offers.

Early offers for athletes, particularly those in junior high, haven't been the most popular idea among many who follow recruiting, but when it comes to a player of Hinson's caliber, entering the race late could be detrimental. Look for Hinson's offer sheet to fill up throughout high school.

Damon Sayles is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand, unless otherwise noted. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings. Follow Damon via Twitter @DamonSayles,


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