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Now 23 colleges have been in touch with him, including several from the Big Ten. Recently he spent a weekend at Indiana University, where his coach, Roosevelt Gilliam, did graduate work. In the upper 20% of his class since elementary school, Blocker will have no trouble getting into college.
To Gilliam he is "a coach's dream."
"Bennie is a good basketball player and track man, too," says Gilliam, "but the thing he was born to do in this life is play football and he can do that better than anyone I've ever seen."
One other thing. He took up punting this season and averaged 39.7 yards.
EXCELSIOR IN FINLANDIA
The national sport of Finland is track and field. Though its latter-day runners have hardly been burning up the cinders in the style of Paavo Nurmi, the Finns do have a national hero in Pentti Nikula. And now, five months after this former glassblower soared 16 feet 2� inches, the Finns are assessing the results.
The main result is that Finnish youth has gone mad about pole vaulting. Within a week of Nikula's record not a single pole could be bought in Helsinki at any price. One Finnish firm rushed a desperate order to Japan for bamboo, enough to make 500 poles, and sold out in advance even before the raw material landed on its doorstep. Even so, undaunted boys from Turku to Oulu were vaulting anywhere, from backyards to roadways, with any piece of wood they could fashion into a makeshift pole. At last count, more than 200 young arms and legs had been broken.