Every year, North Carolina reaffirms itself as a hotbed for talent and underrated prospects, and the current senior class is no different. There are a slew of unsigned seniors that deserve an uptick in their recruitment. Over the next few months, these articles will take a closer look at some of the most under-appreciated guys across the Hoopstate. Today, we highlight Dylan Blake of First Flight High School, arguably the most exciting player across North Carolina.
Over the past months, we’ve talked and written about Blake at length, considering him one of the most under-recruited prospects in the region. Even with coaches coming through the gym and watching him perform, there’s still some type of disconnect within his recruitment. It’s beyond frustrating to try and understand what more these college coaches want from Blake. If he were 6-foot-6 or doing windmill dunks, he would be going to play at the high-major level. So, why do these coaches continue to question his ability rather than value him like a diamond in the rough? Perhaps because Blake doesn’t pass the initial look-test upon walking into the gym that it’s warranted near disrespect in terms of his lack of offers. However, after absolutely destroying so many worthy opponents, one would expect something to change.
The more people that watch Blake perform, the more people walk away in sheer awe of his abilities. He’s one of the most dominant night-to-night performers throughout North Carolina, constantly a threat to go for forty, lead his team to hundred points, or anything in between. At this point, Blake is simply is criminally underrated at everything except scoring. Even the blind can identify his offensive flair and three-point bombs from the logo. Those who examine a little closer quickly notice his toughness, playmaking, rebounding instincts, and defensive prowess, all the things necessary to make him a qualified Division I prospect. Blake is plenty crafty and dynamic, both with and without the ball, and can seamlessly play either guard position at the next level.
Although Blake has proven to be a special talent, credit has to be given to his coach, Chad Williams. Coach Williams has basically revolutionized First Flight High School in the way that Daryl Morey approached the Houston Rockets. His emphasis on a modernized, up-tempo, threes or at-the-rim finishes has only elevated Blake’s (and the rest of the team) game to another level. It has almost given them a neutralizing factor, seeing as how a lot of their opponents possess more size or on-paper talent. Their system is innovative but still isn’t getting appropriate respect from coaches at the next level, otherwise offers would already be coming in on a regular basis.
Ultimately, this article can be viewed as a plea for Blake’s recruitment. Does he need to score over fifty every night to get a fair shake? The “can he defend/is he athletic enough?” statements are simply ridiculous at this point, since he’s more than held his own against anyone in North Carolina. Blake has everything these Division I programs should want, both in a player and person, and will make a coach look incredibly smart at the next level.