Blanks puts on a show at Clemson football camp

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

CLEMSON – The final day of the first session of Dabo Swinney’s camp ended Thursday afternoon, but not before TigerNet took a better look at some of the prospects on campus.

With many of the bigger names gone, I decided to focus in on Tallahassee (North Florida Christian) defensive back Travis Blanks Travis Blanks
6-1, 180
Tallahassee, FL

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, who is currently ranked as the 27th-best player in the nation according to Rivals, regardless of position.

And I can tell you after watching Blanks for part of Wednesday and a good bit of Thursday – that number is not high enough. Not even close.

Blanks recently narrowed his list to eight, and the Tigers made the cut as Blanks announced that Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, TCU, Ohio State, LSU and Miami were still in the running for his services.

The 6-1, 195-pounder is exactly what you look for in a physical, shut down corner, and there were several instances during Thursday’s session that reiterated just how special he can be.

Blanks actually acted more like a player-coach than just a camper during the session, taking the time when he came off the field to instruct some of the younger or less-experienced players who were on hand.

“Get up on him when he gets ready to make a break, and then give him a jam,” Blanks told one corner prospect. “If you play physical with that guy at all, he will stop running and break off the route. Just be physical with him.”

And it didn’t end there.

“Look, when they try and throw that jump ball, don’t go for the pick [interception] because you might give up a touchdown,” he told another player. “Go for his arms, and make sure he doesn’t catch the ball. Just stop him from making the catch and you have done your job.”

Blanks was up in the face of several of the better receivers in camp, and even made sure he called out Lake Marion (S.C.) wide receiver Mike Williams Mike Williams
Wide Receiver
6-4, 185
Holly Hill, SC

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, a 2013 prospect, and indicated he wanted more 1-on-1 time.

A smiling Williams trotted out to his position and waited for the ball to be snapped, at which point he was simply thrown to the ground by the more physical Blanks, who simply turned and walked away. It was a scene repeated often as high school coaches by the dozens and parents gathered to watch Blanks put on his clinic.

He got perhaps the greatest compliment of all, however, when Clemson secondary coach Charlie Harbison pointed at Blanks after one play.

“Hey cornerbacks,” Harbison yelled to the assembled group. “That’s how you do it.”

*I also got to take in more of the offensive line and defensive line work, and it’s evident that Clemson’s two offensive line commitments each have a nasty streak. The temps grew hotter, and so did the tempers as Jay Guillermo Jay Guillermo
Offensive Line
6-3, 285
Maryville, TN

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and Patrick DeStefano Patrick DeStefano
Offensive Line
6-4, 275
Roebuck, SC

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took on the assembled defensive lineman. Several times, players were thrown to the ground and the action continued long after the whistle. DeStefano even sported a nice gash underneath his eye, but refused to come off the field. You like to see that in your future offensive linemen.

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