Friday, November 28, 2014

Friendship nets recruit

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 3/31/2014

Sometimes you don’t know how a relationship will reap benefits in the future.

Baker University assistant football coach and former Ottawa High School standout Caleb Blakesley has maintained a close relationship with the OHS athletic program.

Sometimes you don’t know how a relationship will reap benefits in the future.

Baker University assistant football coach and former Ottawa High School standout Caleb Blakesley has maintained a close relationship with the OHS athletic program.

He offerered tips to the Cyclone throwers in track and field. There he met OHS senior Cory Peoples. The two became friends and then he began recruiting Peoples for football.

Their friendship blossomed into more as Peoples decided to become a Wildcat. He signed Friday in a packed OHS library.

“Coach Blakesley ... I know him as a friend and now as a coach,” Peoples said. “There is no awkwardness. We skipped a step. We can go straight into football.”

Peoples said Baker has a lot going for it.

“It is a good school and program,” Peoples said. “It is hard football. I like coach Blakesley’s intensity. It felt like where I should be.”

Blakesley was happy to see Peoples join him in Baldwin City.

“It was the first one we have gotten out of Ottawa in some time,” Blakesley said. “I met him early on and I knew he would be a special athlete. He is going to be a really good player. He is a good kid. I have known him since he was a freshmen or sophomore in high school.”

Blakesley and the Baker coaching staff like Peoples make up.

“He is really an explosive player that makes plays,” Blakesley said. “The kid can move. He played linebacker, D-end, D-tackle. That can do nothing but help you as a football player. It broadens your football IQ. We are excited to have him.”

Peoples said he looked at junior college powers Hutchinson and Butler.

“It was a difficult decision,” Peoples said. “I grew to like each of my recruiting coaches a lot. It was hard telling all the other coaches no. Baker is what I really wanted. I will get a good education.”

Peoples successfully switched from linebacker to defensive line as a senior.

“The defensive line is for me,” Peoples said. “The D-line is where it is at. That is where the fun is. I like to hit people. I am still quick from my linebacker days.

“I am excited to play. I am glad I have four more years.”

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