Blake Countess (born August 8, 1993) is an American football safety for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Michigan, using three years of eligibility between 2011 and 2014. He was an All-Big Ten Conference first team selection in 2013 after missing most of 2012 due to injury. His 2014 season was less successful and he used his final year of eligibility as a graduate transfer at Auburn in 2015. He was drafted in the 2016 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, but was cut and picked up by the Rams before the 2016 NFL season started.
Countess with Michigan in 2012.
|No. 24 – Los Angeles Rams|
|Born:||August 8, 1993|
Owings Mills, Maryland
|Height:||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight:||191 lb (87 kg)|
|High school:||Our Lady of Good Counsel|
|NFL Draft:||2016 / Round: 6 / Pick: 196|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2018|
High school careerEdit
Countess attended Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, Maryland. As a junior in 2009, he totaled over 50 tackles and 20 pass break-ups. In May 2010, he was nominated to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl high school football all-star game. As a senior in 2010, Countess averaged 14.7 yards per catch, 35 yards per kickoff return, and 22.9 yards per punt return for Good Counsel. Countess played both offense and defense for Good Counsel. His high school coach Bob Milloy noted: "What you're going to get from him is he's a lockdown corner, started both ways for me, and if you don't keep an eye on him, he'll run a punt or kickoff back. He's a very reliable, dependable kid, a good character person ... a good, solid citizen, great kid, and good football player."
After a highly successful high school football career at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, Countess accepted a football scholarship from the University of Michigan where he played from 2011 to 2014. After graduating, he would decide to transfer to Auburn University to play out his final year of NCAA eligibility as a redshirt senior.
Recruiting and Army All-American GameEdit
During the 2010 recruiting season, Countess was pursued by many top collegiate football programs including Notre Dame, Stanford, Penn State, Michigan, Tennessee, Arkansas, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Pitt, Georgia Tech, Purdue, Maryland, Cincinnati, Louisville, Duke, Illinois, Virginia, and Wake Forest.
In early December 2010, Countess was selected as an Army All-American. At the U.S. Army All-American Bowl played on January 8, 2011, Countess did not allow a single pass completion to any receiver he covered, and the opposing quarterbacks chose not to throw many passes in his direction.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||40‡||Commit date|
|Olney, Maryland||Our Lady of Good Counsel H.S.||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)||172.5 lb (78.2 kg)||4.475||Dec 17, 2010|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: N/A ESPN grade: 80|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 20 (CB) Rivals: 133, 10 (CB), 3 (MD) ESPN: 14 (CB)|
Commitment to MichiganEdit
On December 17, 2010, Countess announced his verbal commitment to attend the University of Michigan. He noted that, after visiting Ann Arbor, he "fell in love with Ann Arbor, the coaches, the school, the football legacy, the Big House, and it's just where I felt at home." He was regarded as the top prospect in Michigan's 2011 recruiting class. ESPN.com called him "a natural cover guy with good size and speed," and noted that he has "all the tools to be an outstanding player in college." Three weeks after Countess committed to Michigan, the school's head coach Rich Rodriguez was fired. After the firing, Countess's high school coach noted that the move was unlikely to effect Countess's commitment. He noted that Countess was aware of rumors about Rodriguez being fired before giving his commitment and noted, "He said he picked Michigan because of the school." He signed his letter of intent with Michigan in February 2011.
Countess saw his first substantial playing time for the 2011 Michigan Wolverines football team in the fourth quarter of a 28–7 victory over San Diego State on September 24, 2011. In less than one quarter, Countess accumulated seven tackles and broke up a pass in the endzone from quarterback Ryan Lindley. After the game, Michigan lineman Ryan Van Bergen noted that Countess has "a swagger about him." The following week, Countess again drew praise for forcing a fumble and leading the team in tackles in a 58–0 win over Minnesota. He received the Next Level Player of the Week award from Matt Bracken of The Baltimore Sun. For the season, he earned 2011 Big Ten All-Freshman team recognition from ESPN.com and BTN.com as well as 2011 TSN first team All-Freshman and College Football News All-Freshman honorable mention honors.
Countess injured his anterior cruciate ligament in the season opener for the 2012 Michigan Wolverines football team against Alabama. He returned as a redshirt sophomore to be a 2013 All-Big Ten Conference football team first team selection by the media and second-team selection the coaches. However, the following year as a redshirt junior he only received honorable mention All-Big Ten recognition from the media.
On May 13, 2015, Countess announced his decision to transfer from Michigan. After a brief recruiting process with various different schools, on May 26 he announced he would be a graduate transfer for the 2015 Auburn Tigers football team, and his enrollment was official by May 28. He had also been recruited by Arizona, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
|Ht||Wt||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP|
|5 ft 11 in
|4.53 s||1.46 s||2.56 s||4.15 s||6.82 s||36.5 in
|10 ft 1 in
|All values from Auburn's Pro Day|
Los Angeles RamsEdit
In Week 3 of the 2018 season, Countess returned two kicks for 51 yards and recovered a blocked punt for a touchdown in a 35-23 win over the Los Angeles Chargers, earning him NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
On March 12, 2019, the Rams tendered Countess as a restricted free agent.
- "All Americans". Our Lady of Good Counsel High School. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
- Guimaraes, Eric (April 8, 2010). "Countess hearing from both Tigers and Gamecocks". Spartanburg Herald-Journal.
- Barr, Josh (May 3, 2010). "Three locals nominated for U.S. Army bowl". The Washington Post.
- "Good Counsel defensive back Blake Countess signs with Michigan". The Washington Post. February 2, 2011.
- Cunningham, Pete (January 17, 2011). "Michigan football cornerback recruit Blake Countess committed to the school, not necessarily the coach". AnnArbor.com.
- Barr, Josh (October 8, 2010). "Good Counsel DB Blake Countess plans visits to Ga. Tech, U-Md". The Washington Post.
- Skopil, Erik (June 4, 2010). "Blake Countess Still Exploring His Options". GoJackets.com.
- Skopil, Erik (May 17, 2010). "Countess Gaining lots of Attention". Fighting Gators.com.
- "Army All-American Bowl breakdown". ESPN.com. December 9, 2010.
- Bracken, Matt (December 19, 2010). "COUNTESS HEADED TO MICHIGAN: ARKANSAS, GEORGIA TECH, MARYLAND, N.C. STATE LOSE GOOD COUNSEL CORNERBACK". The Sun, Baltimore, Md.
- "Countess Unshakably Blue". GoBlueWolverine.com. December 17, 2010.
- "US Army All-American Bowl Blake Countess". YouTube. January 2011.
- Newberg, Jamie (January 25, 2011). "Buckeyes lead Big Ten again". ESPN.com.
- Baumgardner, Nick (September 24, 2011). "With Troy Woolfolk on the sidelines, freshman Blake Countess shines in Michigan win". AnnArbor.com.
- Chengelis, Angelique S. (September 24, 2011). "Freshman Blake Countess impressive in Michigan's secondary". The Detroit News.[permanent dead link]
- Raftery, Kevin (September 24, 2011). "Notebook: SDSU gives 'tribute' to departed coaches, freshman Countess steps up for injured Woolfolk". The Michigan Daily.
- Bracken, Matt (October 3, 2011). "The Next Level: Countess steps up for Michigan". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
- "Early impact: These freshmen were at the head of their class". Sporting News. December 13, 2011. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
- Rittenberg, Adam and Brian Bennett (December 13, 2011). "ESPN.com's Big Ten All-Freshman team". ESPN. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
- Dienhart, Tom (December 12, 2011). "BTN.com's 2011 Big Ten All-Freshman Team". Big Ten Network. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
- Cirminiello, Richard (December 9, 2011). "2011 CFN All-Freshman Defensive Team". College Football News. Scout.com. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
- Birkett, Dave (April 24, 2016). "NFL draft: Ex-Michigan DB Blake Countess takes winding path to pros". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
- "Lewan, Funchess Earn Top Big Ten Position Awards". MGoBlue.com. CBS Interactive. December 2, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
- Satterfield, Derek (December 1, 2014). "Led By Ryan, Seven Wolverines Earn Big Ten Honors". MGoBlue.com. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
- Manzullo, Brian (May 13, 2015). "Blake Countess says he's transferring from U-M". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
- Scarborough, Alex (May 26, 2017). "Blake Countess to transfer to Auburn". ESPN. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
- Marcello, Brandon (May 28, 2017). "Michigan transfer Blake Countess 'has chance to be phenomenal player' at Auburn". AL.com. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
- "Blake Countess, DS #62 CB, Auburn". draftscout.com. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
- "2016 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
- McPherson, Chris (September 3, 2016). "Eagles Trim Roster to 53 Players". PhiladelphiaEagles.com.
- "Rams Sign Three to Complete Practice Squad". TheRams.com. September 6, 2016. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
- "Rams Promote DB Blake Countess To Active Roster, Place WR Nelson Spruce On I.R." November 18, 2016.
- Bergman, Jeremy (September 26, 2018). "Big Ben, Drew Brees among NFL Players of the Week". NFL.com.
- Simmons, Myles (March 12, 2019). "Rams tender restricted free agents, exclusive rights free agents". TheRams.com.