SoonerScoop.com Associate Editor
For many years Oklahoma was known more as a place to find skill position talent but more and more the state seems to be consistently producing quality offensive line prospects from Wes Sims to Dylan Dismuke schools from across the country have taken note of some of Oklahoma’s best blockers. The early favorite to take on the role in the class of 2012 is Guthrie, Okla. offensive tackle Blake Belcher.
Belcher emerged on the recruiting scene prior to his sophomore year for the Bluejays with a strong performance at the Tulsa Schuman combine and has since emerged as one of the state’s best lineman. The 6-foot-5, 265-pound prospect has already received mail from Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Kansas, Colorado, Tulsa, and Oregon State.
All of the attention was somewhat expected by those around the big lineman but to him it’s all news.
“It’s kind of suprising. In eighth grade I didn’t even play football I just played basketball and then I moved from Tulsa Union and I was real big, At Union I was big but I wasn’t huge and here I was bigger than everybody else,” Belcher said. “The coach has a really good blocking scheme and I kind of picked up on it.
“(If I stayed at Union) I probably would have played, I hit a huge growth spurt around that time and had fluid on my knee so I just played basketball my eighth grade year.”
As Belcher mentioned the Bluejays are one of the state’s more balanced offenses and attack defenses in a variety of ways and as such Belcher feels he is well prepared for the college game.
“We pretty much do everything, we do power running, we have a power running game, we have speed with stretch plays and we pass the ball a lot so there really isn’t anything glaring to work on,” he said. “If anything it’s just me being stronger, I’m a little weak in the upper body.”
As Guthrie heads into a 5A state semi-final game this weekend against Booker T. Washington they’d love to have their prize tackle with them but Belcher had an unfortunate accident and has been ruled out for the Bluejays during the rest of their playoff chase.
While head coach Rafe Watkins was understandably unhappy college coaches can’t help but take notice in how Belcher hurt himself.
“Actually I broke my foot in a basketball game, so I’m actually done for the season,” he said. “We were shooting around and I dunked at I came down on it wrong, coach wasn’t too happy about that.”
Belcher has been on numerous trips to both of the in-state Big 12 representatives though he says he grew up following one program in particular.
“I’ve been to two OSU games and two OU games. There are a lot of my friends that are fans of both so I just kind of balance it. Whenever I was little I was a big OU fan and I’m still kind of an OU fan,” he said.
“I went to the Schuman camp for the elite prospects (in Norman) last year and this year I got to tour the facilities and we go to tour the locker room. It was all really nice.”
Belcher plans to hit up even more camps in the coming summer but one he already has his eye on is the Army All-American combine in San Antonio in early January. The big lineman expects to have his walking boot off in time to get down to San Antonio and go up against some of the nation’s best.