Most high school freshmen don’t receive interest from major college football programs — but most freshman don’t have the skill set of James Blackstrain.
Today, Pitt became the latest Power Five school to extend an offer to talented receiver from Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy in Melbourne, Florida. The Panthers join Tennessee, Baylor, Kentucky, Louisville and North Carolina as teams that are trying to make an impression early with Blackstrain.
After getting the news that Pitt assistant Cory Sanders stopped by his school to officially offer, Pittsburgh Sports Now talked with Blackstrain (6-foot-1, 175 pounds) and asked him what’s it like to be getting this kind of attention so early.
“These coaches just see something in me and I’m just blessed and thankful to have received these kind of offers so early. I really feel very honored.” said Blackstrain. “My family and coaches are reminding me to stay humble during all of this and to truly be thankful. They’re telling me to continue to work hard and work to the point that I’m dominant on the field. So, I’m going to do that and be sure to keep my head straight.”
“I believe my strengths are my frame, very dependable hands and I’m able to got off the line of scrimmage and away from my defender easily.”
”James’ asset is his length. He’s 6’2” with a 6’5 wing span. Has big hands and high points the ball. He wants to be great and he’s working to do it,” said Matt Cammarata, Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy Offensive Coordinator.
”Not surprised at all! We’re different over here! 100% of graduates qualify for college and as a staff we make it a point to make offers happen and not sit around and wait! It’s what we do! We have 2019s, 2020s and 2021s with Division 1 football offers,” said Cammarata.
Being from Florida, you’d think that one of the “Big Three” Florida programs would be Blackstrain’s dream schools but that’s not the case.
“As I’m growing up, I’ve actually watched many different programs and not any in particular. I really don’t have any favorite school. I’ve watched a lot of Auburn and Tennessee as a kid but I don’t have any favorites. I was amazed though when Pitt offered me today.”
Although it’s extremely early, Blackstrain tells me that he does plan to make some unofficial visits to colleges this summer. At this point, he hasn’t finalized that list.
Will Pitt receive one? Stay tuned.