We've been hearing about Orange Lutheran (Calif.) tight end Blake Ayles since prior to his sophomore season so it's no surprise to see him blowing up on the recruiting front the way he is now. Ayles is now nearing the 20 offer mark and said five schools top his list right now.
Ayles, 6-4, 225 pounds has been arguably the top tight end in the West the last two years. He has everything you could want in a tight end including size, the frame to get bigger, great hands and the ability to make plays down the field.
He's also a very good blocker and should have a big season playing on the defensive line next year as well. The Lancers have one of the top strength programs in the state so Ayles should be ahead of the curve when he makes the transition to college.
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On the recruiting front, the two most recent schools to offer Ayles are Miami and San Diego State.
"San Diego State is a program on the rise so I'll look at them some," Ayles said. "Miami is obviously a huge offer and I'm excited about them as well.
"The five that stand out to me right now, in no order are USC, UCLA, Notre Dame, Arizona State and Wisconsin. I know I'm going to take an unofficial visit to Wisconsin but I'm not sure about the rest of my visits.
"We've been on Spring Break so I haven't really been thinking about it. When I get back, I'm going to sit down with my coach and then we'll figure out what visits I'll be taking.
"I don't have a leader right now and distance won't be a factor. As long as my parents can come and see me play and they're happy, it won't be a factor."
The feeling in Orange County circles has been Ayles is close to a lock for USC.
"No, not at all," Ayles said. "I hear that too and they're a great school but I'm going to take all my trips and then sit down with my family and make a well thought out decision.
"I think a lot of people think that because Aaron (Corp) is over there. Aaron and I are close, we've been playing together since we were kids and I definitely wouldn't mind playing with him in college. Still, I'm open to everyone recruiting me and not close to making an early commitment right now."