Clemson commit makes a name for himself


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Blake Vinson played all five offensive line position during Saturday's The Opening combine
Blake Vinson played all five offensive line position during Saturday's The Opening combine

Unless you follow Clemson recruiting or live in Citra, Florida you’ve probably never heard of Blake Vinson, but he is on a mission to put himself and his high school on the map.

Vinson – a 2017 Clemson commit out of North Marion High School in central Florida – made his presence known as he competed at Nike’s The Opening Regional at Mallard Creek High School in Charlotte Sunday afternoon, playing all five offensive line positions and earning an invite The Opening Finals.

However, that was just the first step in letting the national media know just who Blake Vinson is, where he comes from and where he’s headed.

It wasn’t until recently that the 6-5, 280-pounder decided to participate in Charlotte’s Regional, but once he did Vinson told TigerNet he went in with one goal.

“I was just so happy when my name was called with an invite to the finals. I've been waiting for it for the past couple of weeks since I decided I was going to go to the Charlotte camp,” Vinson told TigerNet Sunday afternoon. “I've stressed about it every single night since then, so it was just a great feeling. I tried not to act too excited. I wanted to give the guy a hug, but I tried to act a little bit cooler like I was expecting it. I wanted to scream I was so happy.”

With over 30 offensive linemen competing in the event, how did Vinson make himself standout? He dominated every position along the offensive line.

“I think my versatility is what made me stand out. I played left tackle, right tackle, guard and center. I played them all at the camp, so I think that's what set me apart,” Vinson said. “I also did well at all of those positions. Not a lot of guys can go from playing left tackle to center to guard to right tackle. I pretty much won all of my reps at all five positions.

“There were some really good guys out there today. Malik Herring, we did a bunch of reps together. As far as o-line, I thought I was the best offensive lineman there. I don't want to sound cocky, but I'm just confident in that. There were some other good guys there, but I just don't know their names.”

When he wasn’t competing against Herring, he was trying to convince him and four-star receiver Tee Higgins they should come to Clemson.

“I tried to do a little bit of recruiting with Malik and I got to talk to Tee Higgins for a while, but mainly I was focused on earning that golden ticket,” he said.

Now that everyone who was in Charlotte knows who Blake Vinson is, the next step is to make his name a nationally known commodity.

“I've never been out to Oregon or out to the West Coast before,” he said. “The furthest I've been is Colorado, so it should be interesting. I have a lot of offers, but I'm a guy who hasn't really been as big with the media, so people don't really know me. I kind of like that, actually, so I'm ready to get out there and show people who I am. I come from a little small town in Florida and a small high school, but I want to show them that we're ready to play.”

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