A few years have passed, but Blake Blackmar still hasn’t forgotten the day before his first career varsity start.
The Houston Clear Lake offensive lineman got called up in his freshman year, on the week of the Saturday night homecoming game. Before Blackmar even made his debut, a surprise visitor came to his school to check him out.
“That Friday, coach [Major] Applewhite came down to the school,” Blackmar said. “He’d been visiting a school that was pretty close, and he stopped by to see the big freshman on varsity. I knew who he was already. That was the happiest I’d been in a while.”
After all, Blackmar has a football that Applewhite autographed during in his playing days. He grew up on the Longhorns and has always loved Texas. That runs in the family.
His father, Bruce Blackmar, was an offensive lineman who lettered at Texas from 1984 to 1986. Now the Longhorns legacy wants to follow in his father’s footsteps.
“I’ve always liked Texas, and they’re at the top of my list,” Blackmar said. “I really like Oklahoma now, too. They’re probably my second choice.”
Blackmar attended Texas’ summer camp in June and felt like he had a good showing. The 6-foot-5, 299-pound tackle worked with the top 2014 unit of linemen and may have made a bigger impression than he realized at the time.
“It was a really good camp. I’d played tackle in high school, but I was playing guard while I was there,” Blackmar said. “I guess I went up against a guy who was already committed to UT, and I beat him three out of four times. It was a defensive tackle, I don’t remember what his name was.”
Perhaps that was A'Shawn Robinson, UT’s lone defensive tackle commit? Blackmar said he never got the lineman’s name. But he hoped the UT coaches took notice.
Lots of other schools have. Blackmar camped this summer at Florida State and impressed coach Jimbo Fisher so much that he received 25 letters in one day from the Seminoles this fall. A few days later, 25 more arrived in his mailbox.
Blackmar doesn’t have any offers yet but said LSU, Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Missouri have all shown interest as well.
He attended Texas Tech’s upset victory over West Virginia this month and also Texas A&M’s loss to LSU last weekend. He’ll be up in Oklahoma this weekend for the Sooners’ big game against Notre Dame. Blackmar is hoping to make it to a Texas game later this season, perhaps the home finale against TCU.
This spring, Applewhite and offensive line coach Stacy Searels spoke with Blackmar’s coaches about trying him out at guard and center. Due to an injury on the Clear Lake line, he’s played his past two games at center.
“I’ve had some really good games, so we sent that film to them,” he said. “We’ll see what happens. I’ll give coach Applewhite a call here soon.”