Blake Countess

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Blake Countess
No. 24 Los Angeles Rams
Position: Free safety
Personal information
Date of birth: (1993-08-08) August 8, 1993 (age 24)
Place of birth: Owings Mills, Maryland
Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight: 180 lb (82 kg)
Career information
High school: Olney (MD) Good Counsel
College: Auburn
NFL Draft: 2016 / Round: 6 / Pick: 196
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status: Active
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at NFL.com

Blake Countess (born August 8, 1993) is an American football free safety for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League (NFL). After a highly successful high school football career at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, Countess accepted a football scholarship from the University of Michigan where he played from 2011 to 2014. After graduating, he would decide to transfer to Auburn University to play out his final year of NCAA eligibility as a redshirt senior.

High school career[edit]

Countess attended Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, Maryland. As a junior in 2009, he totaled over 50 tackles and 20 pass break ups.[1] In May 2010, he was nominated to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl high school football all-star game.[2] As a senior in 2010, Countess averaged 14.7 yards per catch, 35 yards per kickoff return and 22.9 yards per punt return for Good Counsel.[3] Countess played both offense and defense for Good Counsel. His high school coach noted: "What you're going to get from him is he's a lockdown corner, started both ways for me, and if you don't keep an eye on him, he'll run a punt or kickoff back. He's a very reliable, dependable kid, a good character person ... a good, solid citizen, great kid, and good football player."[4]

Recruiting and Army All-American Game[edit]

During the 2010 recruiting season, Countess was pursued by many top collegiate football programs including Notre Dame, Stanford, Penn State, Michigan, Tennessee, Arkansas, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Pitt, Georgia Tech, Purdue, Maryland, Cincinnati, Louisville, Duke, Illinois, Virginia, and Wake Forest.[1][5][6][7]

In early December 2010, Countess was selected as an Army All-American.[8] At the U.S. Army All-American Bowl played on January 8, 2011, Countess did not allow a single pass completion to any receiver he covered, and the opposing quarterbacks chose not to throw many passes in his direction.[4]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
Blake Countess
DB
Olney, Maryland Our Lady of Good Counsel H.S. 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) 172.5 lb (78.2 kg) 4.475 Dec 17, 2010 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 80
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 20 (CB)   Rivals: 133, 10 (CB), 3 (MD)  ESPN: 14 (CB)
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

College football[edit]

University of Michigan[edit]

Commitment to Michigan[edit]

On December 17, 2010, Countess announced his oral commitment to attend the University of Michigan.[9][10] He noted that, after visiting Ann Arbor, he "fell in love with Ann Arbor, the coaches, the school, the football legacy, the Big House, and it's just where I felt at home."[11] He was regarded as the top prospect in Michigan's 2011 recruiting class.[12] ESPN.com called him "a natural cover guy with good size and speed," and noted that he has "all the tools to be an outstanding player in college."[12] Three weeks after Countess committed to Michigan, the school's head coach Rich Rodriguez was fired. After the firing, Countess's high school coach noted that the move was unlikely to effect Countess's commitment. He noted that Countess was aware of rumors about Rodriguez being fired before giving his commitment and noted, "He said he picked Michigan because of the school."[4] He signed his letter of intent with Michigan in February 2011.[3]

2011 season[edit]

Countess saw his first substantial playing time for the 2011 Michigan Wolverines football team in the fourth quarter of a 28-7 victory over San Diego State on September 24, 2011.[13] In less than one quarter, Countess accumulated seven tackles and broke up a pass in the endzone from Ryan Lindley. After the game, Michigan lineman Ryan Van Bergen noted that Countess has "a swagger about him."[14][15] The following week, Countess again drew praise for forcing a fumble and leading the team in tackles in a 58-0 win over Minnesota. He received the Next Level Player of the Week award from Matt Bracken of The Baltimore Sun.[16] For the season, he earned 2011 Big Ten All-Freshman team recognition from ESPN.com and BTN.com as well as 2011 TSN first team All-Freshman and College Football News All-Freshman honorable mention honors.[17][18][19][20]

Transfer to Auburn[edit]

On May 13, 2015, Countess announced his decision to transfer from Michigan. After a brief recruiting process with various different schools, he would announce his intention to transfer to Auburn on May 26, enrolling just a few days later.

Professional career[edit]

Philadelphia Eagles[edit]

Countess was selected by the Eagles in the sixth round, 196th overall, in the 2016 NFL Draft. On September 3, 2016, he was released by the Eagles.[21]

Los Angeles Rams[edit]

On September 6, 2016 Countess was signed to the Los Angeles Rams practice squad.[22] He was promoted to the Rams' active roster on November 18, 2016.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Eric Guimaraes (April 8, 2010). "Countess hearing from both Tigers and Gamecocks". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. 
  2. ^ "Three locals nominated for U.S. Army bowl". The Washington Post. May 3, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Good Counsel defensive back Blake Countess signs with Michigan". The Washington Post. February 2, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c "Michigan football cornerback recruit Blake Countess committed to the school, not necessarily the coach". AnnArbor.com. January 17, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Good Counsel DB Blake Countess plans visits to Ga. Tech, U-Md.". The Washington Post. October 8, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Blake Countess Still Exploring His Options". GoJackets.com. June 4, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Countess Gaining lots of Attention". Fighting Gators.com. May 17, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Army All-American Bowl breakdown". ESPN.com. December 9, 2010. 
  9. ^ Matt Bracken (December 19, 2010). "COUNTESS HEADED TO MICHIGAN: ARKANSAS, GEORGIA TECH, MARYLAND, N.C. STATE LOSE GOOD COUNSEL CORNERBACK". The Sun, Baltimore, Md. 
  10. ^ "Countess Unshakably Blue". GoBlueWolverine.com. December 17, 2010. 
  11. ^ "US Army All-American Bowl Blake Countess". YouTube. January 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Jamie Newberg (January 25, 2011). "Buckeyes lead Big Ten again". ESPN.com. 
  13. ^ Nick Baumgardner (September 24, 2011). "With Troy Woolfolk on the sidelines, freshman Blake Countess shines in Michigan win". AnnArbor.com. 
  14. ^ Angelique S. Chengelis (September 24, 2011). "Freshman Blake Countess impressive in Michigan's secondary". The Detroit News. [permanent dead link]
  15. ^ Kevin Raftery (September 24, 2011). "Notebook: SDSU gives 'tribute' to departed coaches, freshman Countess steps up for injured Woolfolk". The Michigan Daily. 
  16. ^ Matt Bracken (October 3, 2011). "The Next Level: Countess steps up for Michigan". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Early impact: These freshmen were at the head of their class". Sporting News. 2011-12-13. Retrieved 2012-12-03. 
  18. ^ Rittenberg, Adam and Brian Bennett (2011-12-13). "ESPN.com's Big Ten All-Freshman team". ESPN. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  19. ^ Dienhart, Tom (2011-12-12). "BTN.com’s 2011 Big Ten All-Freshman Team". Big Ten Network. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  20. ^ Cirminiello, Richard (2011-12-09). "2011 CFN All-Freshman Defensive Team". College Football News. Scout.com. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  21. ^ McPherson, Chris. "Eagles Trim Roster to 53 Players". PhiladelphiaEagles.com. 
  22. ^ "Rams Sign Three to Complete Practice Squad". TheRams.com. September 6, 2016. Retrieved November 18, 2016. 
  23. ^ "Rams Promote DB Blake Countess To Active Roster, Place WR Nelson Spruce On I.R.". November 18, 2016.