A ‘Tank’ moves to state

Maria Laura Miramon

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Outside linebacker Adrian Blake pursues a runner during practice at Jaguar stadium on Oct. 17.

Adrian “Tank” Blake, 20, started to play for the San Jose City College Jaguars football team last fall and became one of the starting outside linebackers.

This season, Blake has 33 tackles, four sacks and one touchdown.

After flawless performances last season and a well-noted sophomore season so far, he has been offered a scholarship to study at San Jose State University and play at a Division 1 institution, a dream Blake has been pursuing since football became a priority in his life, he said.

“SJSU offered me a scholarship, and I have committed to them. SJSU coaches told me that they like the way I play and that I am a good athlete, but they are going to shape me into a greater one,” Blake said.

Blake said he plans to start playing in the Western Athletic Conference for the SJSU Spartans in spring 2013.

Jerry Wyness, the head football coach at SJCC, said, “Adrian Blake is a gifted football player, who forces our opponents to alter their offensive game plan. Our football staff is looking forward to watching Adrian further mature as a student-athlete in the Mountain West Conference at San Jose State University.”

Blake started playing football in his hometown of Miami, Fla., when he was 12 years old, she said.

Blake counts on all the support of his family and friends, he said.

“My dad is a huge inspiration to me,” Blake said. “He never settled for being mediocre. He always found a way to better the life of his family. I want to be able to do the same when my time comes.”

Being a great athlete is not just a matter of support and inspiration.

Exercise and training are central parts of Blake’s everyday life.

“On a normal day, I wake up around 8 a.m., I head out to school, grab some food and go to class and then practice,” Blake said. “I train four times a week and lift weight three times each week at the gym.”

Apart from being an outstanding athlete, Blake has made a good impression as a person on his coach.

“Off the field, Adrian is just as exceptional.  He is a good student, and is a good-natured young man,” Wyness said.

His teammates look up to Blake as a leader.

“Blake seems to have the innate ability of being a good leader. He is a great player and a great person on and off the field. He is a hard worker,” said Blake’s teammate at SJCC, Shamar Barnes, 19, linguistics major.

Blake’s predisposition to work hard to be the best he can possibly be comes, mostly, from his family.

Today, he is determined to succeed.

“I really want to play in the NFL, but if that doesn’t happen, I want to excel in my career and become a phenomenal athlete as well,” Blake said, who is majoring in computer science.

“Someday, I would like to be part of something big and create software that is going to make a difference in people’s lives,” Blake said.