March 04, 2016 - Aaron Wilson
Versatile Auburn defensive back Blake Countess anticipating strong Pro Day
During his lone season at Auburn after transferring from Michigan, defensive back Blake Countess anchored their defense. The former All-Big Ten Conference selection was effective in coverage, shadowing some of the top receivers in the Southeastern Conference. He recorded 71 tackles, two interceptions and 11 passes defended. Now, Countess, a native of Owings Mills, Md., and a former blue-chip recruit from Good Counsel, anticipates a strong Pro Day on Monday. Countess has been training at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. "My goals for Monday are to jump high, look good," Countess said in a telephone interview. "I have some expectations for myself to run in the mid-4.4s. I'm going to look good in all the drills and show how explosive I am in my jumps and times. I'm prepared, I'm ready." Countess has several meetings with teams Sunday and a few following his Pro Day. "I feel like I'm a guy that's played outside and inside and have played safety as well as defensive back," Countess said. "As a defensive back, I'm very well-rounded. I like special teams and that's such a big aspect of the game. I think that will help me out. I've been a return man this year and played some gunner." Although Countess only played one season at Auburn after transferring from Michigan where he intercepted six passes in one season, he made an impact. Countess visited Arizona and signed with Auburn after considering visits to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. "I loved it," Countess said. "Obviously as a team we didn't do as well as we were expected to do. I learned a lot. I wanted to challenge myself playing in a different league. I did it at a very high level. It was fun doing it even though we didn't have the season we wanted to have." Countess and the Auburn defense excelled in the Birmingham Bowl in a win over Memphis and projected first-round quarterback Paxton Lynch. "As a defense, we got better every game," Countess said. "We definitely got better." Countess said he'll inject personality and character into an NFL locker room. "I'm a high-energy, positive guy," Countess said. "I'm definitely a hard worker. I always go 100 percent. I always have a lot of energy and am positive. I really pride myself on focusing on the things you can control." Countess counts Notre Dame wide receiver Will Fuller and Ole Miss wide receiver Laquan Treadwell as the toughest opponents he faced this year. Countess lined up everywhere from safety to both corner spots and nickel. "That's just how versatile I am," Countess said. "I had to learn almost every position in the back end. I know what's going on every play. I want to show my knowledge and show them I can see the moving parts. That's a really big thing for me is to show that I have a high football IQ." A high school All-American, Countess knocked down 44 passes in high school and was an all-state selection. He graduated from Michigan with a sports management degree and is getting a master's degree in adult education at Auburn. He'd like to pursue a career in scouting when he's done playing. "I want to be a GM one day," Countess said. "I see myself working in upper level administration, staying around the game of football in front office or an agency, doing some kind of marketing thing. I don't see myself falling far from the game of football. It's one of my passions." Follow me on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle.