Blake Countess discusses Michigan commitment
When it became clear to Blake Countess that he would play football in college, the Good Counsel cornerback kick-started the recruiting process by formulating a short list of schools.
The main criterion for the four-star prospect and Reisterstown resident was simple.
“I was looking for a school with a degree that meant something,” Countess said Saturday. “Michigan was always on my list. [Wolverines wide receivers] coach [Tony] Dews told me he was going to keep pushing for me to get an offer from the coaching staff. It finally came midseason. They wanted to see some senior tape. But it finally came around midseason, and that's all she wrote.”
Countess, a second-team Washington Post All-Met selection, committed to Michigan on Thursday, picking the Wolverines over offers from Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Maryland and North Carolina State, among others.
After a few elementary-school years spent participating in karate and gymnastics, Countess joined a local football team at age 10 and quickly became a recreation-league sensation. He moved on to Gilman for eighth grade and suited up for the Greyhounds' varsity squad as a 10th-grader.
Countess became a national recruit after transferring to Good Counsel for his junior season. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound defensive back helped the Falcons win back-to-back Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championships. Rivals.com ranked him the No. 2 senior in Maryland and the No. 156 overall player in the country.
Countess visited Ann Arbor the first weekend of December, with former Old Mill star and Wolverines freshman safety Josh Furman serving as his host. Countess said he bonded with many of his future teammates and was blown away by a trip to Michigan Stadium.
“The Big House, I knew about it but hadn't really seen it at all,” Countess said. “When I went there, it was just unbelievable. I really fell in love with the school, the atmosphere and Ann Arbor.”
While Countess acknowledged that Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez is “on the hot seat,” his commitment to the Big Ten program went beyond his comfort level with the Wolverines' staff.
“Nobody really knows if [Rodriguez is] going to be there next year or not,” Countess said. “But going into this process, [I knew] college football coaches come and go. That's just how it works. My dad told me whenever I got a new offer that I should pick a school based on where I'd want to be if I wasn't playing football. [He said], ‘That's where you're going to be happiest.' With Michigan, I'm hoping Coach Rod is going to be there. If not, I picked a school that I like no matter what.”