The twin sons of former Atlanta Hawks point guard Mookie Blaylock will both be playing at the University of Kentucky – but not for basketball.
Daron and Zack Blaylock have accepted football scholarship offers to Kentucky. The twins are senior standouts at Walton High School.
Neither played basketball after middle school.
“Some people told me that I could’ve been a Division I point guard if I would’ve stuck with it, but I never had the passion for basketball like I do for football,” Daron said.
“I never was any good at basketball,” Zack said with a laugh.
Zack, a 6-foot-1 and 190-pound free safety, is awful good in football. His coach compares him to one of the best safeties to ever come out of the state of Georgia.
“He’s one of the most physical players I’ve seen at defensive back in my 15 years of coaching football; He reminds me a lot of Jermaine Phillips … he has got a similar type of explosiveness when he hits people,” Walton coach Rocky Hidalgo said.
Daron is 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, and plays strong safety at Walton. He will likely move to linebacker at Kentucky. “He’s an incredibly-gifted athlete,” Hidalgo said. “He’s big, physical and moves so fluidly. God gave him a tremendous amount of physical gifts.”
Zack is the more advanced of the twins in football, and was the one who first caught the attention of college scouts with his punishing tackles. Some colleges only wanted Zack, while others were willing to offer the twins as a package deal.
There was never really any doubt what the twins were going to do. “We specifically told colleges that we were not a package deal just to see what would happen,” Zack said. “But yes, we were always going to play on the same team together in college. We’ve just always been together, so doing anything different would be … kind of strange.”
They picked Kentucky over package deals from Duke, Louisville, Maryland and Cincinnati last summer.
“They are both unique guys but they are always together,” Hidalgo said with a laugh. “I mean, you never see them apart. I don’t think it would be possible for them to be apart too far because they are so close.”
The twins live with their mother, who is remarried, and were raised to play football by their stepfather, John Woods. They keep in touch with their father, who played from 1992-1999 with the Atlanta Hawks. “When we decided on Kentucky, he was excited for us,” Daron said.
“It doesn’t happen often but that somebody will occasionally make the connection between them and their NBA-playing father. “Not any kids our age but usually their fathers,” Daron said.
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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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