Blackburn, listed at 6-foot-5 and 217 pounds, is a three-star recruit, rated the No. 26 tight end prospect nationwide and the No. 48 prospect in the state (247Sports Composite). He is the second top-50 player in Georgia to commit to the class, joining Douglas County High defensive end Joshua Robinson. Blackburn also announced scholarship offers from Miami, Kentucky, South Carolina and others.
May described Blackburn as long and athletic. His versatility to play wide receiver and tight end (a graphic made for his commitment, a mock ESPN magazine cover, describes him as a wide receiver) only adds to his appeal.
“That’s the beauty of recruiting somebody like him,” May said. “There’s really no risk because if he can’t do one, he can do the other, and you can fill in your class as you need around him.”
The 13 players committed include two wide receivers (James BlackStrain and Malik Rutherford), two tight ends (Ben Postma, who committed Tuesday, and Blackburn) and athlete Jamal Haynes, who plays wide receiver at Grayson High.
Further, as Blackburn is a three-sport athlete (football, basketball and baseball), “once he focuses on just football, he’s going to be a really great player,” May said.
May said that Blackburn has spent “a lot of time” with Tech coaches, adding that he was drawn to the idea of staying close to home and family, as well as the potential to play early. He also called Blackburn “a good fit” from an academic perspective.
Tech continues to pursue commitments from two of Blackburn and Leftwich’s Westlake teammates, wide receiver Jaquez Smith and cornerback Nathaniel Wiggins. Both are four-star prospects in the top 200 in the country and are rated higher than any of Tech’s 13 commits. Defensive line coach Larry Knight is the area recruiter for Westlake.
May said that he has been visited by or heard from every coach on the Tech staff.
“I think they’ve done a good job of making Atlanta important to them,” he said. “That matters to kids.”
Following Blackburn’s commitment, Tech’s class was rated 25th nationally, two spots higher than the final ranking for the 2020 class.