5-star safety Quin Blanding is one of the best recruits from the 2014 class, and he's already ready to make his commitment.
Blanding checks in at 6'2'', 200 pounds, so he has elite size for a safety heading into his senior year of high school, and he runs a 4.50 40, according to 247Sports. His combination of size and speed gives him the potential to be extremely good at the college level, and the rankings reflect that potential.
He's ranked as the No. 1 overall safety in the 2014 class, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Jamie Oakes of 247Sports reports via his Twitter that Blanding will announce his commitment at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 27th:
Jamie Oakes @JamieOakes247
Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside five-star safety Quin Blanding will announce his decision at 2:30pm on February 27th … http://t.co/xdFcwSJR2013-2-20 15:14:55
Blanding will represent a huge commitment for whichever program he ends up with, and he has three ACC schools on top of his 247Sports interest list. Virginia is currently listed as the top program, with Florida State and North Carolina trailing the Cavaliers with a "warm interest."
Which of these three ACC programs has the best chance to land Blanding's commitment?
On paper, Florida State would seem like the natural draw, if only because of Jimbo Fisher's dominance on the recruiting trail as of late. He has the Seminoles set up to do great things not only in the ACC, but nationally, and Florida State's defense of the future will be really good.
North Carolina is another program that is trending upward in recruiting, and Larry Fedora is doing a great job with the Tar Heels football program. North Carolina finished with the No. 28 overall recruiting class for 2013, according to the 247Sports Composite—which isn't half bad for a basketball school.
All that said, one would be naive not to consider Virginia the heavy favorite in this equation. Not only are they listed as such with just a week to go before Blanding's decision (thus giving FSU and North Carolina less time to overcome the Cavaliers), but it's worth noting that he is from Virginia Beach, Virginia, which gives the Cavaliers somewhat of a "home-state advantage."
Blanding's school, Bayside High School, is also somewhat of a pipeline program for Virginia, and Blanding has taken a plethora of visits to Charlottesville. Virginia was also the first program to offer the 5-star safety.
Everything points to the Cavaliers having a big-time advantage for his commitment, and with a week to go, it appears as if that advantage is safe.
Barring a last-minute push by either FSU or North Carolina, Virginia has the best chance to land Blanding's commitment.