Home UVA football: Quin Blanding needs to be a leader for Cavs’ defense in 2015

UVA football: Quin Blanding needs to be a leader for Cavs’ defense in 2015


blandingQuin Blanding, if it’s possible, was better than advertised as a freshman at UVA in 2014. A consensus national top 10 recruit, Blanding, a 6’4”, 215-pound safety, led the Cavs with 123 tackles, had 2.5 tackles for loss, a sack, three intereptions, six passes defensed, and established himself as the heart, soul and rock of the defensive unit.

Entering his sophomore season, Blanding is now the leader of the defensive backfield, with the graduation of strong safety Anthony Harris.

The soft-spoken Blanding knows he needs to take on a more vocal role.

“I’ve just got to be more vocal, and I guess be the leader of the defense, lead the linebackers, the D-lineman, we all play together,” Blanding told reporters before Friday’s spring scrimmage.

Blanding had a consistent year in terms of productivity, but even within that consistent performance had games where he was utterly dominant, recording nine tackles in his collegiate debut against UCLA, racking up 15 tackles in a big ACC win over Pitt, getting 13 tackles on the road at Georgia Tech and Florida State, 14 tackles and a sack in the finale at Virginia Tech.

It didn’t take long for fans to make the connection with another #3 who played safety like a man possessed. Blanding could very well surpass Anthony Poindexter by the time he’s done in Charlottesville.

He’s already ahead of the curve in one key respect, taking on a team leader role as an underclassman.

“Quin has picked up his role as being a leader on this team,” coach Mike London said. “He’s doing it in the classroom, he’s done it on the field. He continues to be a leader in all aspects. He’s very quiet and unassuming, but at the same time, he’s not afraid to take a leadership role.”

– Story by Chris Graham



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