First, up in our Georgia Tech Football 2021, early signee profiles is four-star wide receiver recruit James BlackStrain.
One of Georgia Tech Football’s highest-rated recruits in the 2021 recruiting class is four-star composite wide receiver James BlackStrain out of Holy Trinity Academy in Melbourne, Florida. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound wide receiver was one of the first commitments in the Jackets recruiting class and was solid to the Jackets from his commitment to when he signed this past week.
- Position: 109
- State: 89
- Rating: 87
- Position: 38
- State: 32
- Nationally: 202
- Rating: 83
- Position: 51
- State: 57
- Rating: 5.8
The rankings on BlackStrain are quite all over the board when you look at the three major recruiting services. The highest on BlackStrain is ESPN, without a doubt, as they have him as a top-250 player in the nation. Rivals view BlackStrain as a four-star prospect while 247Sports’s own ratings (not composite) view him as a high three-star talent.
BlackStrain’s recruitment saw him bring in 36 total scholarship offers with 23 Power Five offers including Florida, Georgia, LSU, Penn State, Tennessee, UCF, Virginia, and West Virginia. That being said, BlackStrain shut down his recruitment rather early, committing to the Jackets this past May. His primary recruiter was wide receiver coach Kerry Dixon.
Highlights and What he Brings to the Table:
What first stands out about BlackStrain when watching his tape is his route running. Finding high-quality route running at the high school level is extremely tough and BlackStrain has just that which also helps make up for his lack of top-end speed. He’s not a slow wide receiver but don’t expect him to be a ton of corners on his speed alone.
His highlight tape shows good tracking skills when the ball is in the air and has a quality catch radius thanks to his size and length. He watches the ball into his hands smoothly and just all-around has strong fundamentals that will allow him to make an impact sooner than later.
BlackStrain stats-wise is coming off a terrific senior season for Trinity Christian Academy, playing in nine games, recording 54 receptions for 1,015-yards and nine touchdowns. He averaged 18.8 yards per reception and 112.8 yards per game. It was a very strong first season back for BlackStrain after he missed the entirety of his junior season due to a torn ACL. As a sophomore and freshman, he played in 19 games, recording 66 receptions for 1,270-yards and 13-touchdowns.
His Future on The Flats:
BlackStrain, I personally believe is a wide receiver who could come in right away for the Yellow Jackets and make an impact. While he some development on and off the field that still needs to be done, his top-notch ability to run routes and his strong fundamentals overall should allow him to see the field earlier than most.
I don’t envision him being a day-one starter for the Yellow Jackets but he should at least get his four free games next season as a true freshman. Though I believe he is someone who could be a mainstay in the wide receiver rotation. I don’t see him turning into a consistent big-play threat for the Yellow Jackets but I believe he could become a top-tier possession receiver for the Yellow Jackets in the future.