Baseball Always Came First For TCU Commit Blackledge


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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Baseball always came first for TCU commit Blackledge

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Owen Blackledge 1B / 3B / North Canton Hoover, OH / 2021

NORTH CANTON - Although his father played professional football, Owen Blackledge admits that baseball has always been number one in his eyes.

“He never preached to me or bothered me about playing football,” Blackledge said in reference to his father Todd, who led Penn State to the national title in 1982 before going on to play quarterback for seven years in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers. “He said to do whatever you’re interested in. For me it was baseball, but I don’t know why.”

The North Canton Hoover junior does remember an early “conversation” with his dad.

“I’m three or four and hitting off the tee with nobody there,” Blackledge reflected. “He comes into the room and is like ... ‘Owen, what are you doing? Don’t you want to play football.’ But after that, it’s like ‘whatever you love, go after it.’”

The love for his sport of choice has resulted in a college commitment to Texas Christian University for the 31st-rated 2021 in Ohio.

“They first saw me at a tournament in June when an assistant coach was there,” Blackledge said. “Then the whole staff saw me at the Future Games. They kept in contact with me and I liked the conversations I had with them.”

A visit to TCU took place in September.

“I fell in love with it,” said the 6-3 173-pounder. “The first thing was the weather. And I thought the campus would be bigger, but it was much smaller than I anticipated.”

There was one more item of importance.

“I liked how much baseball gets help with academics,” noted Blackledge, who currently carries a 3.9 unweighted GPA with plans to major in a business field at college. “There were so many resources they have there.”

TCU saw a lot of potential in Blackledge, who is being looked at as a first baseman or third baseman at the next level, depending on his eventual height.

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