News has just emerged in the last handful of minutes that Chase Blakley, the highly-touted tight end out of Coeur d’Alene High School in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho has given his verbal commitment to play football at the University of Washington.
Coach Steve Sarkisian sent out a “Woof!” via twitter about an hour ago, leading to a mad dash to figure out who the commitment could be, but it wasn’t until Blakley tweeted out the news that the story truly broke. To put it simply: this is a big one. While rankings are far from cemented so early in the recruiting cycle, the Class of 2014 tight end is considered a four-star prospect by Rivals, and they also have him pegged as the #8 tight end in the nation. Scout has him listed as a three-star prospect, and ESPN hasn’t given him a ranking yet, but even if a consensus hasn’t formed around his exact ranking, Blakley is undoubtedly a top-10 tight end in his class.
There is also a bit of disagreement around his physical dimensions, but the Rivals listing at 6’5″ and 227 pounds appears to be fairly accurate next to the numbers listed by the other recruiting services. Over the course of his upcoming senior season and the next off season, it would be nice to see him add on 10-20 pounds, but he has plenty of time, and even as he stands Blakley appears to be a speedy (4.7 forty) and talented pass-catcher who could go a long way towards replacing junior tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who may declare for the draft after this season.
Of course, Washington will have to hold on to Blakley for the next several months until the February National Signing Day, which is no easy feat in the cutthroat world of college football recruiting. But if Blakley sticks to this decision even when more offers roll in during his senior season and beyond into early 2014, he will certainly be one of the gems of Coach Sark’s class.