By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky had one player in San Antonio other than Drew Barker trying to help convince defensive tackle Matt Elam to commit to Kentucky.
Seventh-grader Dominick Blaylock of Georgia, the younger brother of UK football twins Zack and Daron Blaylock, was a starting cornerback/kick returner on the winning East team in Sunday’s Eastbay Youth All-American Bowl in San Antonio. A day earlier he was the Alamodome watching the U.S. Army All-American Bowl where Elam, a 370-pound defensive tackle from John Hardin High School, and UK quarterback commit Drew Barker played.
“It was a great week, a great experience for Dominick,” said his step-father, John Woods. “I was real disappointed that Elam didn’t commit (to Kentucky during the game when he was scheduled to make his college choice before changing his mind before the game). We spent a little time with him and Dominick told him he should come to Kentucky. I don’t know what happened. There was a bunch of media covering the game and I guess he needed more time.”
Dominick, an elite baseball player as well, got to “hang out” some with Barker and got postgame pictures with both Barker and Elam.
“Drew seems like such a nice kid,” Woods said. “Elam seems like a great kid, too. Kind of a big, gentle giant. He is just a happy, go-lucky kid and was great to us. I thought Barker showed tremendous poise in the game. It looks like he has a cannon for an arm. It’s going to be an interesting spring (practice with the quarterback competition). He was out there with some great talent and more than held his own.
“Watching Elam play was amazing. He demands a double team. He comes off the ball well for his size. His first step is pretty good. He moves very well for a big guy.”
Woods said Daron and Zack Blaylock never had the opportunity to play in a national all-star game like this when they were younger because there were not any.
“They just went to combines and one-day camps,” Woods said. “Dominick had a great team and really had a good game. It was a great measuring stick for him to play with this kind of talent.”