July 23, 2010
Cali High Sports is coming out with the best and most accurate list of the top Cali players for each sport. We start with football in which an unusually deep California class has immense talent at seemingly every position.
We continue our countdown to number 1 with Summit High quarterback and athlete Devon Blackmon. Devon plays quarterback at this level but will probably play a different position in college. The reason Blackmon plays QB for Summit? You want the ball in his hands on every play.
#8 Devon Blackmon
School: Summit High School
Schools Considering: USC, UCLA, Florida, Alabama, Washington
NFL Comparison: Antwan Randle El
Devon Blackmon can make plays at multiple positions. Summit high school puts him at quarterback simply because good things happen when Blackmon has the ball in his hands. Blackmon doesn't always play quarterback, sometimes he lines up in the slot as a wideout yet he is equally effective at both positions. As a quarterback Summit often calls QB keepers for Devon and he has shown to be a triple threat as a passer, a runner and a wide out.
As a quarterback you can draw comparisons from Blackmon to a few different college quarterbacks from the last few years. His passing game is similar to former Florida back and National Champion winner Chris Leak. Like Leak Blackmon has a bit too much of a windup and doesn't get great zip on his balls but nonetheless is an effective passer. Blackmon has been able to learn how to throw well on the run while alluding defenders which has really made him a viable threat as a passer.
Blackmon is so quick and elusive that even when the pocket breaks down he can avoid being sacked. Eventually as the play drags on a receiver is able to find an open spot and Devon does a great job of recognizing his open man and delivering him the ball.
As a runner from the QB slot Devon is a bit of combination of Randle El and Vince Young. While Devon doesn't have VY's 6'5 frame he has a similar running style to the Titans quarterback. He runs with his shoulders square and looks for running lanes instead of just trying to get positive yardage. He possesses incredible lateral quickness and uses this quickness to bob and weave away from defenders and can change directions effortlessly. Like Young, Devon isn't afraid of a hit and doesn't shy away from contact. He can even break tackles.
As a receiver Blackmon displays a great ability to get into his cuts. He is a very strong route runner who does a good job of getting separation from his man and getting into open space. Once in open space with the ball Blackmon simply finds holes. He is extremely elusive and never seems to slow down as he's running even when he is changing directions. Defenders often have trouble even getting a hand on Devon and once he fills out his frame more he will be an absolute beast in the open field.
The next level?: Devon could play two positions in college. His passing is strong enough that he could definitely see time as a quarterback in college and he has added value playing at the QB slot because of what a dangerous runner he is coming out of the backfield. Devon could really pose a nightmare to defensives playing in an option offense and definitely would thrive under Urban Meyer.
Blackmon could also play some receiver in college where his good fundamentals and explosive playmaking ability make him a natural fit.
Wherever Blackmon plays he will be productive. Devon is a guy who could put up jaw dropping numbers in college and will definitely do so in his senior year at Summit.
Cali High Grade: 93