Blake Bortles was born in Oviedo, Florida on December 16, 1991. A quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars, he was selected third overall in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Previously, Bortles played college football for the University of Central Florida.
As a youngster, Bortles attended Oviedo High School in his hometown, where he played both football and baseball. In his senior year, he was able to pass for 2,211 yards and 27 touchdowns and Bortles finished his high school career with a total of 5,576 passing yards, setting a new record for Seminole County. Although he received recruitment offers from schools including Colorado State and Western Kentucky, he eventually settled on a scholarship offer from Central Florida.
Having redshirted during his true freshman year, Bortles made his first appearance for the UCF Knights in 2011 and went on to appear in ten games over the course of the season. In those games, he completed 67.8 per cent of his passes and threw for 958 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions.
Bortles' 2012 sophomore season marked something of a breakthrough, as he started all 14 games for the team, passing for 3,059 yards, with 25 touchdowns. Additionally, he was able to rush for 285 yards and contribute eight rushing touchdowns. In December, Bortles led Central Florida to victory over the Ball State Cardinals at the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl and was named as the game's MVP.
The 2013 season represented Bortles' best passing season from a statistical point of view, as he threw for 3,581 yards and 25 touchdowns and achieved a career-high 259 pass completions. He led the team to the American Athletic Conference Championship and was named as the conference's Offensive Player of the Year. Despite being considered underdogs, the UCF Knights were able to triumph at the 2014 Fiesta Bowl, defeating the Baylor Bears 52-42. It marked the school's first ever victory in a major bowl game and Blake Bortles was named as the Fiesta Bowl Offensive MVP.
In January 2014, Bortles decided to bypass his senior year and declare his eligibility for the NFL Draft. He was selected in the first round, as the third overall pick, by the Jacksonville Jaguars. In the process, he became the first quarterback to be drafted in 2014.
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