UVa-bound 5-star safety Quin Blanding didn’t disappoint at last week’s The Opening, earning high praise for his performance at the Nike-sponsored elite combine event in Oregon. ESPN.com ranked the Bayside (Virginia Beach, VA) rising senior as the fourth best player at the event.
“The No. 1 safety in the country looked dominant at times in 7-on-7 play. Blanding had three interceptions on the first day of tournament play and was a leader of his defense. At 6-foot-2, 209 pounds, Blanding looked like a monster in the secondary,” wrote ESPN’s Tom VanHaaren.
Chris Gizzi, a Nike Football Training Camp coach and defensive coordinator of Team Vapor Carbon at The Opening, had the following report on Blanding on StudentSports.com: “When I talk about my defensive MVP, it’s Quin Blanding . I’ve gotten to work with Quin at a couple of these camps, he’s smart, he’s savvy and I think he has enough respect in the locker room where he’s not overbearing but when he talks people listen. That’s the intangibles, the tangibles are his speed, his body type, his ability to play in space. If the pads were on he has the ability to step in the box and smack people. I love him to pieces.”
One-hundred sixty-two of the nation’s top high school football players were invited to this year’s The Opening. Blanding is one of the few class of 2014 prospects invited to both the 2012 and 2013 events. Of this year’s performance, he said: “I felt good about it. I knew I had to go out there to show people why I was ranked where I was. It was my second time there, so I knew I had to step out and be more of a leader. I knew I had to show more passion.”
Blanding, who finished the week with four interceptions, appreciated the experiences he had on...
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