Family Has Been The Back Bone For Blake Veargis Through It All
Blake Veargis receives so much support from his family at his games playing for Monsignor Pace High School in Miami, Florida. His mother, late brother and Uncle Van Waiters who played in the NFL for five seasons (1988-92) and was a 2010 Indiana University Hall of Fame inductee, all have played pivotal parts in his life as he is now a junior at Monsignor Pace.
“I start playing football when I was four. When I started playing football, I hated it because I was scared to get hit. I wanted to quit and my mom said no so I went back out there the next day and started to get a feel for the game and I loved it. If it wasn’t for my mom, none of this would be possible.”
Blake Veargis lost his brother, Victor Emmanuel Waiters Jr. to a dirt bike accident in 2014. He was 26. Blake said that that was the hardest thing that he had to overcome because his family has always been behind him in support. He remembered his brother by talking about a major piece of advice that his brother gave him and a piece of advice that Blake tries to live by.
“…My brother always used to tell me ‘don’t do anything that you wouldn’t want to talk about.’ That’s just what I base my life off of. He motivates me and I do everything for him,” Veargis said.
Veargis also being a Miami, Florida native, said there are two types of guys in that city. A bad or good guy. He doesn’t want to be the former which is why he wants out of Miami.
“In Miami, you’re either a good guy or you’re a bad guy. If you’re a good guy, you’re going to make it somewhere. If you’re a bad guy, you’re going to be like the rest of these people out here, selling drugs and doing all that other crazy stuff. I’m barely [ever] home,” he said. “I’m usually at my uncle Van’s house or [somewhere else]. That’s why, when I get offers, I just want to move away from here. I already told my mom, I don’t want stay down here, I want to go far away.”
The five-foot-nine, 178 pound, junior wide receiver is not ranked by the major recruiting services (247Sports, Scout, Rivals) and has no scholarship offers yet. He has high interest in Ohio State but he is open to going anywhere to put his family in a better environment.
“My life goal is to go to Ohio State because my brother liked Ohio State, my uncle likes Ohio State, and half of my family is in love with [the school]. It’s far away from here and that’s just the environment I would like to be in. Anywhere is my best choice to move my family out of where we are right now.”
Looking at film on Blake Veargis, he is fast. He catches the ball and gets up the field with ease which is very impressive. In 2015, he had 17 receptions, 207 yards and three touchdowns for the Monsignor Pace Spartans. He relates his game to former Baylor Bear and current Cleveland Brown wide receiver Corey Coleman.
“Corey Coleman. I look at Corey Coleman as reflection of me because we’re the same height, he has speed, and I have speed. I [compare] myself to people that I can relate too. That’s what my uncle always told me, ‘look up to someone you can relate too.’ I always look up to Corey Coleman.”
Monsignor Pace Spartans head football coach Joseph Zacceo has only spent a year coaching Blake Veargis but feels like his biggest improvement has come in terms of maturity. He and a lot of other guys on the team had some growing up to do in terms of taking the game of football and life more seriously.
“Last year has been spent mostly making these young men understand that this isn’t a social event, it’s a sporting event. [Blake is] starting to grasp that. As far as his junior year, I’m hoping that that maturity translates into his physical and technical aspects of the game getting better. Rather than approaching it as a little boy, [he will] approach it as a young man,” Zacceo said.
Veargis said that he loves exposing somebody on the field and wide receiver is the position for him. He also said that the best part of his game is his heart.
“I think the best part of my game is that I have heart. No matter what your size is, you’re going to have to show me that you’re better than me. I don’t really care about the rankings, the offers and all that because you never know how a person plays.”
As an upperclassman, coach Zacceo is clear about what he wants to see from Blake Veargis. He wants to see maturity and leadership shine through and he wants to see Veargis get the younger guys on the team to understand that they need to take football seriously if they want to use it as a means for a free college education.
“I tell him all the time, if this was easy, we have 850 kids in the school, if this was easy I’d have 800 out for football. So understand what it takes to be successful. That’s the hardest thing to make these guys understand,” Zacceo said. “They watch Saturday football or Sunday football and they go ‘oh that’s me, that’s me,’ No that’s not you son. You’re seeing the product of countless hours of dedication and work. Not just with coaches but on their own. So the biggest things I’m looking for are leadership and maturity.”