November 08, 2011
Lakeridge (Ore.) High senior wide receiver Blake Dutton isn't the fastest wideout in the world. Still, he makes up for that lack of speed with a number of attributes, sheer athleticism and guile not least among them.
Take the following play, for example. Facing a sure tackle from a defender, Dutton took the only route he saw out: He went over the top.
This hurdle run comes from a game in which Dutton's Lakeridge team fell to West Linn (Ore.) High, 31-26. That setback had nothing to do with Dutton, of course, as the wide receiver racked up a chunk of his 885 total receiving yards and 13 touchdowns that have come over the course of the season in the matchup.
Of all those notable grabs, the ones in which he brings out his latent hurdling skills have clearly been the most memorable. He pulled off the feat again on Friday during Lakeridge's 45-27, play-in game victory against Glencoe (Ore.) High. You can see a great photo of that most recent hurdle via OregonLive.com right here.
While the hurdling receiving heroics might be the most natural headlines to associate with Dutton, there's actually an even more interesting backstory behind why more Division I football programs aren't beating down Dutton's door for his signature: He's already committed to play lacrosse at Denver University, a 2011 NCAA Final Four squad.
As a top-flight lacrosse recruit, Dutton is quite the novelty in the Pacific Northwest. Still, there's no doubting his ability on the lacrosse field after a junior season in which the Lakeville star scored 36 goals as a midfielder (yes, as a midfielder, not an attackman).
Still, that doesn't mean that Dutton won't get more attention from some top football programs before 2012's signing day, especially given the heights he's reached in his senior campaign on the football field.
"You could see it coming," Lakeridge coach Tom Smythe told OregonLive.com of Dutton's breakout season. "I had a nice chat with him before the season started and told him that I expected him to be one of the better players in the state. It was just up to him to prove that he was. Boy, he's certainly done that."
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