He has played just over one season of varsity football. He has a whole season to go, but Prior Lake junior Blake Whaley has already caught the eye of college programs – two of which that are still playing football in the postseason. With the early interest off so little film, Whaley will likely still be playing football well after his senior season.
Prior Lake started the season strong with two wins, but the Lakers’ results were up one week, down the next. The season included three regular season games against eventual state tournament teams. It ended with a second-round playoff defeat.
“On offense, we were good with short passes and getting the ball out quickly,” Whaley said. “On defense, we were good at defending the outside. We had fast guys on the outside.”
Whaley was the starting strong-side defensive end on a defense that kept five teams to single digits – including two shutouts.
“My season went well for my first year starting on varsity,” Whaley said. “I had some good plays and did my job. I studied a lot of film and worked a lot on my pass rush – inside dipping the shoulder, working on my swim moves and rips. It was a group effort on the defensive line.”
He got some help preparing for varsity from someone who played it at a high level – older brother and Kent State freshman – Zach Whaley.
“Zach is a very good football player. He was a good mentor to me on the field too. He coached me up. Even though I would say ‘you are wrong, I know what I am doing.’ I took his criticism and used because on varsity I really need to know what I was doing. Zach always taught me what to do.”
Although he had help, Blake’s hard work developed him into one of the top defensive players in the 2020 class.
“I think I am best at keeping the edge,” Whaley – who likes to hunt duck, geese, and deer – said. “I know how to work the tackles and get around and set the edge. I can set my feet and get a good push on a guy because I know I am stronger than most of the guys on the field.”
His senior Lakers’ teammates have still been helping their former teammate. They have been giving him tips – especially with two specific areas.
“I will be working on my explosiveness off the ball and my hand movement too.”
This winter, Whaley will be working in the weight room at the school during the week and with his dad with the weight set they have in the garage, on the weekends. This spring he is considering track.
The 6’3″ 230 junior also will be going to some junior days to add to a couple of game day visits he went on this fall.
“A lot of coaches have reached out to me. I went to North Dakota State and South Dakota State for game day visits,” Whaley told northstarfootballnews.com. “Hopefully I will get to some junior days soon.”
Whaley has already talked to the Prior Lake coaches about his senior year. He expects to play some short yardage tight end and – depending on how big he gets this offseason – full-time defensive end or defensive tackle.
With a solid offseason and another good season as a senior, Whaley’s early college interest will inevitably turn into eventual college offers.