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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sailors: A walk-on who runs fast

Blake Sailors lacks a scholarship (for now), but not confidence.

The redshirt freshman from Athens has been starring on special teams for the Georgia football team, especially on kick and punt coverage. Head coach Mark Richt said Sailors has been the first man down “every time” on kickoffs.

So how does a walk-on manage to out-run a bunch of scholarship teammates?

“I mean, I’m faster than them. That’s basically it,” Sailors said Tuesday. “They might have scholarships, but they don’t have my speed. So I just use my speed to get down there.”

Sailors said he ran 300 hurdles at Oconee County High School, finishing third in the state his senior year.

He also played safety for the football team, but didn’t have any scholarship offers. Georgia offered a preferred walk-on spot, and since then Sailors has made it his goal to show coaches he deserves a scholarship.

He had a big moment in the Tennessee game, recovering a muffed punt. Richt also said Sailors was a big reason the Bulldogs ranked No. 1 in the SEC in kick coverage.

“Now he’s got to the point where he’s the guy they are trying to double team and harass and knock the heck out of,” Richt said. “He’s on a couple of the special teams where when we punt the ball, we have our gunners going down there trying to make those guys force the fair catch. He’s doing a great job of being in their face and forcing that.”

Sailors was asked if such praise was good to hear, considering his goal.

“Definitely. It’s great if he says something, just because I’m trying to get to that next level, try to get a scholarship and stuff,” he said. “But that’s not the only thing I’m trying for. I’m trying to make plays and get noticed by fans and him.”


Chris said...

I've definitely enjoyed watching him, especially recovering that muffed punt against Tennessee. Good story, I'm glad I know a little more about him.

GreenDawg said...

This kid is the perfect example of how to play fast. He's not perfect, especially on the punt return team, but if he makes a mistake at least he makes it going full speed and giving all he's got. That is all any fan can ask. Count me among one of Blake Sailors fans.

G Byron said...

I've been noticing him all year. He reminds me on Drew Williams from a couple of years ago. Great heart and determination (and speed).

Rdawg said...

Sailors went to oconee not clarke central.

Seth Emerson said...

Corrected the high school. Thanks.