The Eagles had good luck when they drafted Brent Celek back in 2007. He had been a star for the University of Cincinnati. Blake Annen never became a star for the Bearcats, but he is a talented, athletic prospect.
Annen finished last season with 16 catches for 183 yards and 2 touchdowns (you can listen to his first TD catch here). But his stats suffered when the Bearcats changed their offense following a loss at USF in the fifth game of the season. For the rest of the year, UC emphasized a 4-wide receiver attack with limited use of the tight end.
“I think it was a great decision by the coaching staff and we won nine games which is nothing to complain about,” said Annen. “Obviously you want to contribute as much as you can, and that means finding ways to be a team player. If that means catching 100 balls then I do. If that means making 100 blocks, then I make 100 blocks. When you win nine games you can’t complain about it.”
“He was a team player and he was a professional about it,” said Kay. “My hat’s off to him. I’m close to Blake – we’ve spent a lot of time training together – and we’ve been tight for the last five years. It was definitely tough for him when we made that change and he didn’t get many opportunities. I still think he made the most of the opportunities that he had. He can do it all – he can run, he can catch, and he can block. He has a bright future.”
Annen recently had a private workout with the Philadelphia Eagles and last week, took part in the Bengals’ annual workout for draft-eligible players from area colleges and high schools. If he is not selected in the late rounds of the draft, Blake stands a good chance of winding up in an NFL training camp as an undrafted free agent.
“That’s the goal and all I need is a shot,” Annen told me. “Obviously if that comes on draft day I would be ecstatic, but just being able to have an opportunity is more than a lot of people can say. If you do get that opportunity, it all comes down to what you do with it.”