Ernest Balkman IV passed down his love and desire for football to his son, Ernest Balkman V, and at seven years old, he was ready to play.
“No, that’s my goal to become the first one in my family to ever play all four years of college ball and [get] drafted,” he said about whether he comes from a line of football players at the college or pro level.
Ernest Balkman V grew up in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami, Florida. After later moving to a better environment, his mother is someone who impacted him the most.
“Growing up in Miami Florida was filled with a lot of good memories. Growing up me and my favorite cousin Sevon would go out and play football all day with the neighborhood kids challenging everyone until we lost,” Ernest Balkman V reminisced.
The city is home to him despite the prevalence of violence.
“…The city builds character and prepares [you] for the world as an adult.”
He also plays the game for his community to show them that it doesn’t matter where you come from. Hard work and dedication will turn your dreams into a reality.
“If football doesn’t work out I always planned to study sports medicine and one day open my own shop which one day become international,” Balkman said.
The recruiting process has been great for Ernest Balkman V, getting to meet Division I coaches from various schools and he would love to be a part of their programs.
The 5’11, 180-pound wide receiver has only one offer from Florida Atlantic University. He has high interest in Florida A&M, Illinois and Clemson.
“I really felt like I had a real bond with their coaches and the way they projected their schools to capture my complete interest.”
On the field, he tries to emulate Dez Bryant and Mohamed Sanu because they are big, fast and strong receivers. Balkman has also played running and special teams for the Bulls and he has shown his versatility.
He has good hands and his route running looks good on film as well. His speed helps him in big play situations as well.
“I have to work on consistency and better route running until it’s perfect and very hard to stop.”
As a receiver, here is what he enjoys most about playing the position.
“What I enjoy the most is the [thrill], excitement, and edge seating [sic]. When that ball is in the air everything goes mute and your focus is only on the ball. It feels as if the ball is thrown to you that nobody has the power to take it from you. That ball is your life and you got to grab it and protect it.”
The Miami Northwestern Bulls finished the 2017 season with a 14-3-1 (3-1 6A District 16) record and a state title after defeating the Armwood Hawks (14-1, 5-0 6A District 7) 21-16.
“It felt amazing and unbelievable to win the state title against Armwood with my Bull brothers. By winning, that brings a lot of high expectations for next year and I feel it’s my and [other] returning players’ job to lead this team to another one.”
In terms of what he can add to a university, good character and leadership are two things.
“What I think I can bring to a university is on and off the field is great character and a leader who’s willing to show others the way to a right path,” he said. “I can bring humbleness and dedication because I will never get over myself and keep [the] focus on my task ahead.”
Ernest Balkman V will be a senior Bull in 2018 and the Friday night lights aspect of high school football is what he will always remember.
“When it’s become my final days at Miami Northwestern I will miss the most are the night practices and Friday night light games in front of over 5,000 fans coming to show support for me and my brothers at night.”
Photo Credit: Ernest Balkman V Twitter