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Sports

Football: Nazareth junior Devin Blakley commits to Miami (Ohio)

Nazareth's Devin Blakley carries the ball through Providence's defense Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, at Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox, Ill. The Celtics fell to the Roadrunners, 24-7.
Nazareth's Devin Blakley carries the ball through Providence's defense Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, at Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox, Ill. The Celtics fell to the Roadrunners, 24-7.

Devin Blakley can play cornerback or safety on defense, running back on offense and can also return kicks.

His next level preference?

"As long as I get on the field," said Blakley, a Nazareth junior, "I don't care where I play."

Wherever he plays, Blakley knows where it will be.

Blakley, a three-star prospect and Illinois' 33rd-ranked player in the Class of 2019, made his verbal commitment to Miami (Ohio) on Saturday.

Blakley, 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds, chose Miami over offers that included Iowa State, Toledo, Bowling Green and Air Force.

Blakley attended Junior Day at Miami in January, around the same time the school offered him, and he took an unofficial visit there two weeks ago.

"The first visit there, I saw how realistic the coaches were, I felt the connection to them," Blakley said. "It was on the second visit that I got to see a little bit more, build the relationship more. It's a great school, that's a plus. They have seniors that are leaving, so by the time I get there I'll have a great chance to play right away."

Blakley, who holds a 3.1 GPA at Nazareth, plans to study engineering at Miami.

Blakley is part of a dynamic junior class that helped lead the Roadrunners to the Class 6A final in November. As a running back he ran for 1,011 yards and 13 touchdowns, and had 18 total TDs.

Blakley, who has a brother that played basketball at Prairie View A&M, a sister who ran track at Illinois State and a cousin who plays basketball at Tulsa, was actually recruited by Miami for both sides of the ball.

"Devin is physical, and he has the speed to cover as well," Nazareth coach Tim Racki said. "I know his versatility attracted them. He could play safety as well as cornerback because of how he covers space. They were sold on that versatilty and he is also a returner. His versatility has helped us the last few years."

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