Quin Blanding is one of the top defensive back recruits in the class of 2014. He stars for Virginia Bech (Va.) Bayside High School, making 111 tackles and five interceptions as a junior in 2012.
Blanding measures in at 6'2, 200 pounds. Blanding was the first five-star recruit for Rivals and is currently ranked as the fourth-best national recruit by their services. Blanding is seventh in the 247Sports rankings and is also considered their top safety. Blanding is ranked as the top 2014 safety according to Scout and is one of the members of the ESPN Watchlist.
Blanding holds offers from Clemson, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, North Carolina, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Virginia, West Virginia Alabama, Auburn, Cincinnati, Florida, Maryland, Purdue, Tennessee, UCLA, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech.
Bud Elliott, National Recruiting Analyst: Blanding has it all at the safety position. He is both an excellent high school player and a player who projects very well to the next level.
Physically, Blanding is exactly what colleges want in a safety at 6'2 and 200 pounds. He has room for another 10 pounds of muscle as well.
Blanding shows impressive speed in his video. He is able to outrun most every player on the tape, and the competition he is facing is of a high level.
Bayside High School plays Blanding as a deep safety in many of the clips, but he has the ability to come down in the box as well. Blanding can be a big hitter, and is sound in his approach, not getting juked out too much. He is physical when meeting a ball carrier as well. Blanding uses his arms very well both in fighting off blockers and in press coverage when he drops down in the box to play man coverage.
Blanding seems to have a good feel for the position, taking good angles to the running back and the ball on deep passes. While most of his interceptions weren't that impressive, being thrown right to him, he has plenty of other plays that do showcase his considerable athletic talents.
Blanding is a man among boys, and it is easy to see why he holds 30 BCS offers. He has the potential to be a three-year starter and an early entry in the NFL.
National Signing Day is 49 weeks away. Verbal commitments are non-binding and change frequently.