Blanks commits to Clemson

by - Senior Writer -
Travis Blanks shuts down Lake Marion (S.C.) wide receiver Mike Williams at the line at the Clemson football camp.

The Clemson Tigers picked up their seventh and perhaps biggest commitment of the 2012 recruiting class to date when elite defensive back Travis Blanks Travis Blanks
6-1, 180
Tallahassee, FL

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of North Florida Christian (Tallahassee, FL) called Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and made his commitment official Friday afternoon.

Blanks is ranked as the 11th-best player in the nation according to ESPN, and he camped at Clemson this week, but told TigerNet that it wasn’t this week’s visit that confirmed his belief that Clemson was the right place for him to be.

“Camp didn’t confirm that at all,” Blanks told TigerNet. “Of course, it had some effect on it. But this was my fourth visit up there, but after my third visit I came home and slept on it and didn’t want to make an emotional decision. Yesterday, I stopped by the University of Georgia on my way home, and I told them I would back up on the 15th. But now that won't be happening. I woke up this morning and knew Clemson was the place, so I called them up and committed to them.”

Blanks said he made sure he talked it over with the people closest to him, and then made the call.

“I talked to my mom and my coach, and they all felt like it was the best decision for me,” he said. “I called Coach [Jeff] Scott first, and then I called Coach Swinney and Coach [Charlie] Harbison and those guys. The offices up there were going crazy, and now I wish I was still up there when it happened.”

He said the reasons for choosing Clemson were many.

“Outside of football, Clemson is the greatest experience,” Blanks said. “As far as relationships go, they have great coaches who believe in me and I believe in them. They have grown to love me already and I have that great connection with all the coaches. I love Coach Harbison and Coach Steele, and their system fits me perfectly. They showed me how I can fit into their defense.”

Blanks, as was noted on TigerNet Thursday, is a versatile and physical defender who can play anywhere in the defensive secondary.

“I can play strong safety, free safety, cornerback and nickel,” he said. “I am versatile. I can play any position in the secondary. I can jam, I can cover receivers or tight end, and I think that Coach Steele’s system fits me perfectly.”

Blanks’ defensive coordinator at North Florida Christian, Jonathan Mauk, told TigerNet that Clemson is getting a tireless worker.

“He does everything 100 miles per hour,” Mauk said. “He is going to go out there and make sure that no one works harder than he does. He makes my job as defensive coordinator that much easier because he puts our defense in the right situations. That comes from watching film.

“He watches more film than any other high school player, and probably more than most college players. He is definitely special, and he will do whatever he can to get on the field. He will do whatever it takes to be great. He will lift extra weights, he will watch extra film and he will run extra sprints. He will do whatever it takes to be the best.”

As a junior, Blanks tallied 104 tackles with four interceptions. He is the highest-rated defensive back prospect to join the Tigers out of Florida since DeAndre McDaniel committed to Clemson in 2005.

MUST READ: Blanks puts on a show at Clemson football camp (6/9/11)

2012   F O O T B A L L  C O M M I T S
NamePOSHT, WTHometown (School)
Travis BlanksDB6-1 180Tallahassee, FL (North Florida Christian HS)
Patrick DeStefanoOL 6-4 275Roebuck, SC (Dorman HS)
Ronnie GeohaghanS 6-0 185Fairfax, SC (Allendale Fairfax HS)
Jay Guillermo OL 6-3 285Maryville, TN (Maryville HS)
Germone Hopper ATH 6-0 175Charlotte, NC (Phillip Berry Academy)
Shaquille LawsonDL 6-4 240Central, SC (Daniel HS)
Cordrea TankersleyATH6-2 195Aiken, SC (Silver Bluff HS)

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