Fresh off a visit to Charlottesville, the 5-star safety Blanding will make his college choice next week. The Virginia Beach native narrowed his choices to Virginia, North Carolina, Florida State, Ohio State, West Virginia, Clemson, NC State, Miami, Notre Dame and Michigan in the Fall. Blanding also holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Florida and plenty more. The star safety is the #4 player in the nation according to Rivals, and #7 according to 247sports for the 2014 cycle.
Blanding plays at Bayside High School in Virginia Beach, meaning he is plenty familiar with the Cavaliers' program. Bayside has sent Demetrious Nicholson, Henry Coley and Anthony Cooper to Charlottesville in recent years, as well as being home to star running back and Virginia signee Taquan Mizzell. Blanding has been to Grounds quite a few times, and as recently as last weekend. One of Blanding's other finalists, Florida State, also has a famous Bayside alum, with former starting quarterback E.J. Manuel.
Quin Blanding is a big, rangy safety who can cover a ton of ground and get to the football in a hurry. As a junior, Blanding recorded 111 tackles and 5 interceptions, playing against some great competition in the Tidewater. At 6'2'' 200 lbs, Blanding is already plenty big, and could play in college right away as a freshman. In fact, he might be ready to play in college now. In Jon Tenuta's aggresive blitzing schemes, a player like Blanding who can create turnovers could be a huge asset.
The timing of this decision seems to be good news for the Cavaliers. There were rumblings that Blanding wanted to end the recruiting process early, but this is probably earlier than anyone expected. Blanding is much more familiar with the Virginia program than any of his other finalists, and already has friendships and relationships with players on the team. It will not come as a shock if the 5-star safety chooses the Cavaliers next week, and becomes one of Virginia's highest rated commits ever.
Stay tuned to Streaking The Lawn next Wednesday as we cover Blanding's announcement live from Virginia Beach.