ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 01: Blake Countess #18 of the Michigan Wolverines strips Brandon Green #1 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers of the ball during the second quarter of the game at Michigan Stadium on October 1, 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Blake Countess was an absolute beast in high school. An Army All-American, he committed to Michigan in December 2010. Hailing from Our Lady of Good Counsel in Maryland, he was universally regarded as a top-20 corner, with some sites ranking him in the top 10 for the 2011 class. Originally recruited by Rich Rodriguez, Countess' commitment never wavered during the transition. Kid's got character.
Countess was immediately thrust into action his freshman year in Ann Arbor, seeing his first game-action in Michigan's victory over San Diego State. Countess looked good, man. He had what seemed like more tackles than Michigan's entire secondary the previous year (7) and broke up a pass. He also starred against Minnesota, leading the team in tackles and generally swagging all over the Gopher receivers. Countess ultimately earned All-Big-Ten Freshman honors from multiple outlets. So the ceiling for this year is high. Unfortuantely, poor performances by the Michigan secondary as a whole against OSU and Va Tech cast a bit of a shadow on the end of the year. Countess, though, is attacking his deficiencies head on, working in the weight room and getting more used to film study.
Blake enters the season as one of Michigan's starting corners, opposite JT Floyd - but Coach Hoke has indicated there's open competition at the field corner position, as Terrence Talbott is pushing hard in the weight room and the coaches really like him. Don't expect any incoming freshmen to make a significant push, as the coaching staff has indicated that they want to ease into playing time as much as possible to alleviate some of the issues of the past.
Blake's #1 goal this offseason has been to bulk up. As it stands, at 5'10, he has some size on Michigan's other recruits, but he's still south of 180 pounds. He's recently stated that he wants to add up to 10 more pounds, which should help him match up with some of the conference's bigger receivers (and hopefully not give up so much to guys like Michael Floyd and AJ Jenkins). He's got the speed and instincts to play the position, but the weight should help with tackling and help prevent the bleeding deep.
Twitter Entertainment Level
Here it is. Blake's only 18, so his Twitter is about what you'd expect. Some funny RTs, and certainly interactive with his followers. I'll give it a Medium.
If Blake Were A Beer, He'd Be A
Heavy Seas, a Maryland brewery, has an uber-pils called Small Craft Warning. It's excellent. I also like how it obviously physically dominates tiny people, something Countess will do to slot receivers this year with his added poundage. Corny? Don't care.