College football is right around the corner. Every year a handful of players who were previously under the radar emerge into the spotlight by season’s end. Scouts and die hard college football fans are well aware of them and their talents but the average fan only pays attention to the names they hear on SportsCenter the most.
Like clockwork, it usually stays that way until bowl season when Mel Kiper runs down his list of sleepers. If you want to impress your friends with a relatively unknown player that will be a household name by the draft, your best bet is UVA safety Quin Blanding.
Coming out of Bayside High School in Virginia Beach, VA, Blanding was rated the 8th best prospect in the country overall and number 1 at his position. He was part of an influx of talent from the tidewater area of Virginia to UVA.
Blanding has definitely left his mark on The University of Virginia football program in his three years. He’s had one of the most decorated careers in school history.
Blanding has been a full time starter at safety since he stepped on campus as a true freshman in 2014. The former five star recruit led UVA in interceptions as a true freshman and broke the school record for tackles in a season by a freshman with 123.
After his freshman campaign he was voted ACC Defensive Rookie of The Year and Second Team All-ACC. His first two seasons at UVA he led the team in tackles which is an accomplishment in itself as a safety that doesn’t always play in the box.
He’s currently on pace to break the school record for career tackles. Blanding was also voted to several All-American teams and The All-ACC First Team after both his sophomore and junior seasons.
Quin Blanding will most likely have his name called early in next years NFL Draft. He’s currently ranked the number 1 draft eligible safety in the country heading into the 2017 season. He’s absolutely a player we should all keep an eye on as he’ll be building on an already historic career.