English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley once said that familiar acts are beautiful through love. What Houston Strake Jesuit College Preparatory senior cornerback Denzel Blackwell does for the Crusaders defense is beautiful as he loves to corral opposing wide receivers and pick off deep passes.
According to head coach Klay Kubiak, the 5-foot-11-inch, 170-pound Blackwell is a proven leader and prolific playmaker in the secondary.
“[He] really controls the secondary,” Kubiak, a former Colorado State University quarterback, told Texas Scorecard. “We always expect him to make explosive plays on defense.”
Blackwell is a three-year starter and a team captain for the Crusaders. In his junior year, he helped lead Strake Jesuit to a 6-1 District 23-6A finish and an overall 10-2 record, as well as a resounding 55-7 playoff victory over Friendswood Clear Brook High.
Kubiak recalled Blackwell stepping up in an important contest against district foe Alief Hastings.
“We had to get a win,” the coach said. “We shut them down in the secondary.”
Blackwell also shined brightest in two games against Beaumont West Brook High, one a 55-40 regular season win and the other a 54-43 playoff defeat.
“Whenever we need big defensive plays, he’s always there to show up,” Kubiak said.
Kubiak commended Blackwell’s dedication to the program.
“He’s never missed a game,” the coach said. “It’s rare to have young men like him in your program.”
In recognition of a remarkable penultimate season in the green and white, the talented three-star defensive back, who runs a 4.54 40-yard dash, took home 2018 District 23-6A Second Team honors and was among the prestige few to be selected to the Touchdown Club of Houston’s 2019 preseason All-Greater Houston UIL team.
He also verbally committed to Boston College more than a month ago. At the time the Eagles landed Blackwell, he was the second cornerback to commit in their 2020 recruiting class, according to the BC Interruption SBNation Blog. Blackwell took to Twitter to announce his decision by writing, “Happy birthday momma.”
Reflecting on the recruitment process, Kubiak said “it [was] a really long [and exhausting] road,” adding “I’m really proud [of] and happy for [Blackwell] at the end of the day.”
The relationship between Kubiak and Blackwell, a member of the Crusaders relay team that won first place in the 4×100-meter relay with a time of 40.72 last spring, goes beyond the field. Blackwell was a student in Kubiak’s English class for two years.
Strake Jesuit defeated intracity rivals Houston St. Thomas Catholic High, 28-17, to begin the 2019 season and next play West Brook.