Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

HIGH SCHOOL EXTRA Suited to a Saints Wing-T

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

HIGH SCHOOL EXTRA Suited to a Saints Wing-T

Article excerpt

Byline: Chase Goodbread, Times-Union sports writer

Cheston Blackshear is uncertain where his football career is taking him, but for now, it continues where it began: at the high school level.

The former White offensive tackle, who earned Times-Union Super 24 Player of the Year honors in 1994 and went on to play at Florida, is working as an assistant coach on the Sandalwood staff this season.

"I hadn't been home much since high school, and after my father passed, I knew I wanted to spend some time with my family," Blackshear said. "So this gives me a chance to do that and stay around the game at the same time."

Saints head coach Terry Gilliam has known Blackshear for more than 10 years, and was an assistant coach at White during Blackshear's playing career there. So when Sandalwood had an assistant coaching vacancy this summer and with Blackshear looking to come home, the fit was perfect.

"When he said he could help me out, I jumped at the chance," said Gilliam. "He's knowledgeable, he's loyal, he relates to the kids very well."

Blackshear chose Florida over Florida State, Tennessee, Notre Dame and Auburn as one of the state's most-heavily recruited players in January of 1995. He redshirted at UF that fall, but worked his way into playing time and was eventually named to the All-Southeastern Conference second team as a senior. He graduated with a major in business administration and played in the now-defunct XFL last season. Now, he has his eye on a chance at NFL Europe.

"That's what I'm training toward," said Blackshear. "I may go back to school if NFL Europe doesn't work out. It's a wait-and-see time for me right now."

Meanwhile, Gilliam runs the same offensive scheme, the Wing-T, at Sandalwood as Blackshear played in while at White. Blackshear anchored a running game that started a streak of playoff appearances by the Commanders that is still alive today. …

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