Quin Blanding made the decision to stay in-state last February. Almost one-year later, Blanding made it official by signing on the dotted line.
The five-star safety out of Virginia Beach, Virginia, had everyone lining up to land the services from the number three.
As a sophomore, Blanding already was nearing double digit offers, with Virginia Tech, North Carolina, UVa and North Carolina State among the first to offer. In the end the Cavaliers won out as his choice beating out Clemson, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and West Virginia.
Once he committed, the Blanding effect took over. More recruits began to sign on to join the Cavaliers. It started with four-star lineman Steven Moss, then came five-star defensive tackle Andrew Brown and then came four-star wide receiver Jamil Kamara.
"It was a tough decision, but at the end of the day it was the best for me to represent where I’m from,” said Blanding, who chose the Virginia over Ohio State. “I wanted to help carry on a legacy for other kids that it’s OK to stay home and play for your home state.”
“It was just the relationship I have with the coaches,” he said. “Being around the players and being in that atmosphere – it just feels like home to me. It just feels like family and that’s what I love about it.”
“I'm thrilled and ready for it. I wish I can get up there now. I can't wait to sign that letter!”
Experts Weigh In
“The Bayside defensive back does it all,” said Mid-Atlantic recruiting analyst Michael Clark. “Blanding has good speed, quickness, ball skills and is extremely physical. He is also a leader and smart football player. Overall, Blanding really does not have a weakness in his game. Five years from now, look for him to be playing on Sunday.”
“Virginia commitment Quin Blanding (Virginia Beach, Va./Bayside) is as solid and steady as they come,” said National Recruitingn Analyst after seeing Blanding at the Opening. “He made plays everywhere and was a rock in the secondary at safety. The Cavaliers landed a great one that should have a stellar career in Charlottesville.”
“Blanding is everything a coach wants in a safety,” said National Recruiting Analyst Brian Dohn. “He covers sideline-to-sideline, he can cover 1-on-1 in the slot, he reads plays well, he will deliver a big hit, he can tackle and he is a leader in the back of the defense…He has good quickness and athleticism, he runs a 4.6 forty and breaks on balls well in front of him and can turn and run down the field with a speedy receiver. He also has very good body control and acceleration, and his ball skills are also strong.”
“When you look it, he’s a kid that’s a five-star prospect,” said retired Bayside head coach Darnell Moore to Scout.com’s Michael Clark. “The fact that he thinks enough about his home state – that he can play big-time football right here. I think that will resonate with other kids in Virginia.
“You’re going to get a kid who’s going to come in with the idea that I’m good enough to play and I'm going to practice like it. But he doesn't want anything handed to him – he wants to earn it. He's smart kid and he's like a sponge when it comes to picking up things. He’s a guy that is going to play hard every second of the game. Quin knows it’s not about him…it’s about competing and winning.”
This was a BIG get for Mike London and his staff. To keep a talent like Blanding at home is how you build a program back. The five-star is also a big role-modeI in the tide-water area, so having him at UVa will certainly have an impact in future classes. As far as playing time, I should keep this short.. He should start. Done.
Senior: Brandon Phelps, David Marrs, Anthony Harris
Junior: Kyrrel Latimer, Mason Thomas
Sophomore: Anthony Cooper, Kelvin Rainey
Freshman: Quin Blanding, Malcolm Cook