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The University of Central Florida Knights can go ahead and believe it is their home field but wait until they hear the ovation and support a thousand of Blake’s family and friends lend the East Carolina Pirates.

”We’ll be coming from Sanford in buses,” said Jeff’s father, Emory, the head football coach at Seminole High School. ”Everyone wants to see Jeff in person. Cheap Jerseys from china All the kids on our team 100 or so with the JVs and freshmen are coming. They’re still talking about seeing Jeff play against Illinois on ESPN. But this is the real thing.”

Emory Blake almost missed his son’s game when Friday night’s Seminole DeLand game was postponed Friday because of inclement weather. DeLand officials had wanted to reschedule for 7:30 tonight, but Seminole Principal Gretchen Schapker worked out a compromise. The game will be replayed on Nov. 27, the day before Thanksgiving, if neither team has earned a state playoff berth.

Many of Blake’s fans will be wearing No. 2 East Carolina jerseys.

”Jeff’s brother, Brandon, and sister, Brandy, will wear theirs. So will Jeff’s godmother, Virginia Raines (wife of baseball star Tim Raines of Sanford),” Emory Blake said. ”You’ll see more than a dozen of those purple and gold No. 2s tonight.”

Jeff Blake says he can’t wait to play at the Citrus Bowl. He saw games there with his father, but he has never played a game at the stadium.

”This is a very special night,” said Blake, a 6 foot 1, 194 pound senior. ”I’ve been thinking about it all week. I mean, my blood has really been pumping. I had a bad case of the flu a bunch of the players did, too but I’ve been working hard at practice. I want to play well here.”

UCF coach Gene McDowell says, ”Jeff Blake is the best quarterback we’ve ever faced. He’s just a fabulous passer. He’s got a great, great arm.”

McDowell winced when he heard Blake wanted badly to play at the Citrus Bowl.

”He could have played all his home games here,” McDowell said, ”in one of our jerseys.”

Emory Blake said Friday he wished the Florida schools had given a little more attention to his son when he graduated from Seminole High.

”Jeff had a lot to offer,” said Blake, who was offensive coordinator at Seminole when Jeff was playing. ”My heavens, he had that great throwing arm when he was just a kid.

”I remember him throwing a ball 50 yards when he was 9 and 10 years old. Everyone knew he was going to be good.

”His first coaches used to protect him the best they could. Protect the boy who could make the big play in a hurry. They used quick whistles.”

Blake played quarterback as a freshman at Seminole and was point guard on the basketball team and shortstop on the baseball team.

Eventually, he stuck to football and baseball.

College football coaches surrounded him, but too many of them wanted Blake to change positions requesting he shift to wide receiver or defensive back.

”The big Florida schools all wanted Jeff, but not as a quarterback,” Emory Blake said. ”And I suppose UCF didn’t think they could get Jeff. Maybe because they thought he was out of their league.”

Florida’s loss is East Carolina’s gain, and Pirates coach Bill Lewis is grateful.

”I really see Jeff enjoying what he is doing,” Lewis said. ”He enjoys every minute he is on the field at practice and in the games.

”He’s not just playing the quarterback position for us he is our quarterback. A strong player, a strong team leader.”

In two games, Blake has passed for 530 yards and four touchdowns. He completed 21 passes against Illinois, one for 89 yards.

Gary Danielson, college football commentator for ESPN and former NFL quarterback, said, ”He (Blake) has a Warren Moon type of arm. cheapnflauthenticjerseys He has a major league arm. He can run the option, but he’s a thrower. He could be playing on Sunday afternoons in the NFL.”

That would please Blake.

”I want to give the NFL a shot,” Blake said. ”I hope they want me as a quarterback. One way or another, I’ll give it a shot.


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