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Walk-on Kelly Blake hopes to earn playing time at Stanford

Kelly Blake battled high school injuries but hopes to take full advantage of his athletic and academic opportunities at Stanford.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kelly Blake could be the hidden talent of the 2016 recruiting class. After being forced off the field his junior year because of a back injury, Kelly had little time to show colleges he was ready for the next level. During his senior year, Kelly Blake did exactly that and was able to earn a walk on spot at Stanford.

During his senior year, Kelly had an exceptional six interceptions and 74 total tackles as a safety at Loyola High School in Los Angeles. Compared to UCLA's top safety 2016 recruit Brandon Burton, who only had one interception and sixty nine total tackles, Kelly Blake had a better season on the defensive side of the ball. Blake himself thinks that as player his best attribute is being able to read the ball and intercept it. He showed exactly that his senior year after having a better season defensively than top safety recruits.

In the past, Stanford has had success developing walk on players into NFL prospects like Griff Whalen and David Parry. Both players most likely came into Stanford with a similar attitude to Blake. He said on contributing to the team, "I will work hard and do what I can for the team and hopefully earn playing time." When Blake heads to Stanford next year, he looks to be the best possible team player that he can be.

Blake has not only shown success on the field but success in the classroom as well. He was honored as a student-athlete after containing a 4.5 GPA and scoring 35 of 36 on the ACT. From early on, Kelly has loved math and flourished in it after getting A's throughout high school and scoring perfectly in the math section on the ACT. Striving in academics, Kelly said on choosing Stanford, "It'll offer me basically any opportunity I want to have academically while having a top flight football program, and I love the Bay Area." Kelly realizes Stanford is a place that will set him up for success after football.

After playing minimal time his junior year because of injury, Kelly was behind in recruiting ratings going into his senior year, but after a dominant season, he still remained underrated. Kelly remained underrated even after having a better senior season than top recruits in the same position. With his brain power and football ability, Kelly Blake will hopefully be the next great Stanford walk on.