All-American end returns to gridiron

After days of speculation concerning his whereabouts and his status with the football team, senior defensive end Tommy Blake is expected to make his return to the team today as it resumes practice after having the day off. Mark Cohen, director of athletics media relations, released a statement Sunday to the Associated Press stating that Blake would return to campus Monday, and attend today’s practice.

The defensive end, whose name has appeared on a bevy of preseason All-America teams, returned home to Aransas Pass for what was being called a “personal matter.”

While the reason(s) Blake left the team for five practices remain unknown, speculation and innuendo has hinted that Blake might be adjusting to the pressure of being as highly recognized as he has been this off-season from NFL scouts.

Blake was named the defensive MVP in last December’s 37-7 rout of the Northern Illinois Huskies in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, and is coming off a season that saw him register seven sacks, while being named to the All-Mountain West Conference team. He is one of nine starters returning to a vaunted defense that ranked No. 2 last season in total defense.