Countdown to Kickoff talks to sophomore cornerback Blake Countess about getting on the field as a freshman, playing opposite J.T. Floyd, and the team's growing excitement as the season opener approaches.
CAREER HIGHS Tackles: 8, vs. Virginia Tech (Jan. 3, 2012) Solos: 6, vs. Virginia Tech (Jan. 3, 2012) Asst: 3, three times (last vs. Akron, Sept. 14, 2013) TFLs: 1, vs. Purdue (Oct. 29, 2011) Sacks: None Int.: 2, vs. Notre Dame (Sept. 7, 2013) FR: None PBUs: 2, vs. Minnesota (Oct. 1, 2011)
At Michigan ... has appeared in 25 games at cornerback, making 19 starts.
Junior/Sophomore (2013) ... has made 12 starts as a defensive back ... has also contributed on special teams ... ranks first in the Big Ten and is tied for 4th in the FBS with six interceptions ... OHIO STATE (Nov. 30) ... made one interception ... IOWA (Nov. 23) ... registered four stops and an interception ... MINNESOTA (Oct. 5) ... tallied three tackles and one pass break up ... also intercepted his fourth pass of the season and returned it 72 yards for a touchdown ...CONNECTICUT (Sept. 21) ... recorded four tackles, including a career-best two TFL ... AKRON (Sept. 14) ... recorded six tackles and his third interception in his last two games, returning it 47 yards ... NOTRE DAME (Sept. 7) ... recorded six tackles and tallied his first two career interceptions, returning the first 30 yards and recording the second in the end zone on Notre Dame's final drive.
Sophomore (2012) ... suffered season-ending knee injury in season opener vs. Alabama (Sept. 1) ... earned John F. Maulbetsch spring award for a freshman based on desire, character, capacity for leadership and future success both on and off the field ... redshirted.
Freshman (2011) ... Sugar Bowl champion ... earned first varsity letter ... ESPN.com and BTN.com Big Ten All-Freshman Team ... appeared in 12 games and had 44 tackles, 30 solo, 1.5 TFLs and was second on the team with six pass breakups; played 11 games at cornerback, starting last six games ... made five-plus tackles in six games ... VIRGINIA TECH (Jan. 3) ... made career-high eight tackles, including six solo stops and a half tackle-for-loss ... PURDUE (Oct. 29) ... made first collegiate start at cornerback, registering three tackles and first career TFL ... MINNESOTA (Oct. 1) ... forced first career fumble and recorded career-high two PBUs along with a team-high five tackles as a reserve cornerback ... SAN DIEGO STATE (Sept. 24) ... posted seven tackles and broke up first career pass ... WESTERN MICHIGAN (Sept. 3) ... made collegiate debut on special teams.
Prep ... attended Our Lady Of Good Counsel High School (2011) coached by Bob Milloy ... played defensive back, wide receiver and kick returner ... helped team win back-to-back Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championships ... benched 255 pounds and squatted 395 pounds ... Key Statistics ... recorded 44 total pass breakups during his high school career ... Honors and Rankings ... participated in the U.S. Army All-American game ... four-star prospect, the No. 10 cornerback nationally according to Rivals.com ... listed as the third-best prospect in Maryland and the 131st overall player in the country by Rivals.com ... four-star recruit and the No. 14 cornerback prospect nationally according to ESPN.com ... four-star prospect and the No. 20 cornerback nationally according to Scout.com ... named to RivalsHigh.com second-team All-American defense in 2010 ... earned first-team all-state honors as a senior.
Personal ... Blake Countess was born August 8, 1993 ... enrolled in the School of Kinesiology, majoring in sport management.