However, 12-year-old Dominick has already started to carve his own niche. As both a baseball player and football player, he has already shown a great deal of natural talent.
During the 6-4-3 DP travel baseball team’s trip to Cooperstown, N.Y., as part of a week-long 90-team tournament, Blaylock outran everyone in a sprinting competition running the bases. Not only did he win, he did so slipping and nearly falling down after making a turn around third base.
“Dominick is one of those very gifted kids,” said Danny Pralgo, director of the 6-4-3 DP program. “He’s probably one of the fastest 11-year-olds in the country.”
Though his twin brothers, Daron and Zack, had speed as standouts for the Walton High School football team, and father Mookie Blaylock was successful running the floor as a point guard for the Atlanta Hawks, Dominick may have the same speed — if not more.
Growing up with two brothers that were seven years older, Dominick had to work just to keep up with them.
“I think it pushed him —made him tougher, made him faster,” said Janelle Woods, Dominick’s mother. “In trying to keep up with two brothers that were athletic and seven years older than him, I think it’s really helped him.
“He’s much faster than Daron and Zack were at his age. Daron and Zack were fast, too, but Dominick started so much earlier, and that made such a huge difference.”
In order for Dominick to start playing sports at an earlier age, there had to be a more comfortable environment for him to be around at home. After separating from the boys’ father, Janelle married John Woods, who was around at a much earlier age than he was for Daron and Zack, who still built successful careers and signed to play at Kentucky in the fall.
“With Dominick having John around at a younger age — a dad getting him signed up to play baseball at a younger age — I think it’s had an impact on him loving the game and being so much better at it,” Janelle Woods said. “John’s been a huge impact in Daron and Zack’s life as far as sports, getting them on the right teams, being a coach.”
More than the motivation provided by his stepfather, Dominick has also had encouragement from his brothers in both baseball and football.
According to Pralgo, Daron and Zack have attended many of their younger brother’s games. Conversely, Dominick was there watching both Daron and Zack play football at Walton.
“(Dominick) loves the sport,” Janelle Woods said. “I think he loves it more now because Daron and Zack were good at it. It gives him the drive to go out and be a hard-hitter.”
A rising sixth-grader, Dominick was invited to Football University’s Top Gun camp in Williamsburg, Va., from July 22-25. He was also named the fastest player at another camp hosted by Tim McFarlin, the longtime former football coach at Roswell High School now working at Blessed Trinity.
Because of what he has done thus far in both baseball and football, some are project great things in the future for Dominick — either on the same level as his two older brothers, or perhaps even greater.
“His brothers didn’t play baseball,” Pralgo said. “There’s no doubt that he’s unbelievable on the football field. His cutting ability — how he sees the field — it’s the same thing on the baseball field. When the ball is first hit, that’s a huge difference when compared to others.
“You can compare him a lot to a kid that came out of Harrison named Corey Patterson. I coached him as a 14-year-old. He turned down a scholarship to play football and played baseball for a long time (in the major leagues). Everything just seems to come easy to them. Although it seems to come easy, (Dominick) is one of the hardest workers that I’ve ever been around.”