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Cavs land another Bayside standout
Five-star football recruit Quin Blanding, rated No. 4 nationally by Rivals, commits to UVa.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
VIRGINIA BEACH — Cory Lee wanted her son to enjoy being a kid.
But her son, Quin Blanding, hasn’t gotten much enjoyment out of the football recruiting process since he received his first college scholarship offer from Virginia as a Bayside High School freshman. Blanding has collected eight boxes of recruiting letters just since September and has received hundreds of recruiting phone calls and messages via Facebook.
“It was overbearing for him, and being his mother I’d see how stressed he was,” Lee said. “It’s also interfering with his school work and studying time. It’s not a normal life. It’s out of whack. So I told him, when he’s ready to commit to let me know.”
Blanding, one of the nation’s top prospects in the Class of 2014, made his choice on Wednesday when he committed to Virginia.
Blanding joins a growing list of top South Hampton Roads players — including a host of former Bayside teammates — who have picked the Cavs.
Each of the past three South Hampton Roads players rated as the No. 1 player in his respective class has signed with Virginia: running back Taquan Mizzell (Class of 2013), Ocean Lakes lineman Eli Harold (2012) and Bayside defensive back Demetrious Nicholson (2011).
Ocean Lakes quarterback Corwin Cutler, a senior, also has signed with Virginia.
Two other former Bayside players — wide receiver Anthony Cooper and linebacker Henry Coley — also are at Virginia. Cooper is a rising sophomore, and Coley is a rising junior.
Making a commitment this early is rare. Only five players on the Rivals.com list of top 25 recruits in the Class of 2014 have committed. Blanding — a five-star recruit rated No. 4 overall nationally by Rivals — is the first in the recruiting service’s Top 10 to commit.
Blanding had narrowed his final list to include Clemson, Ohio State and North Carolina.
“It was a lot of pressure from coaches, from the different recruiting sites and from fans talking about this school and that school,” said Blanding, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound safety. “It was just overwhelming. So I felt that pulling the trigger was the best thing to do. It feels really good. I feel relieved.”
Blanding said he chose Virginia because of his admiration for coach Mike London.
“He’s just trying to get players who keep building his program,” he said. “And that’s what really hit me.”
Mizzell and Cutler attended Blanding’s announcement.
“I’m happy for him, but I was kind of scared because I thought he was going to Ohio State,” Mizzell said. “But in the back of my mind I was thinking, ‘He knows who is going to take care of him and where’s he’s going to feel at home.’ ”
This past season as a junior Blanding was a first-team All-Beach District pick at wide receiver and the Beach District Defensive Player of the Year.
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