Cavalier Corner

October 2014

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And in his first game wearing the No. 3 for the Wahoos, Blanding recorded nine tackles — third on the team that day behind fourth-year linebacker Henry Coley and Harris, who had 14 and 10, respectively. "We played as a team, as a unit," Blanding said after a heartbreaking 28-20 loss to the Bruins. "We just all came together as one. That's what our main goal was, to keep going as a unit and keep fighting no matter what." When asked about his pregame jitters before his college debut, Blanding flashed a smile and admitted he was a little nervous. "I felt really good," he said. "My teammates kept me up and just kept me going. This is what we trained for. Throughout the whole training SAFE BET Touted First-Year Quin Blanding Has Already Shown The Potential To Be Great BY BRAD FRANKLIN E VEN FIVE-STAR RECRUITS CAN HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF nerves when they step on campus or get set for their first game. That's how it was for true first-year Quin Blanding when he walked out from the tunnel at Scott Stadium on Aug. 30, stood on the goal line during warm-ups and fumbled a bit with his phone trying to find the right song to blare through his headphones. That may have been the only spot during his first two games in a Virginia uniform where the Virginia Beach native didn't look to be in total control. A 6-4, 215-pound free safety who starred at Bayside High School, Blanding was the nation's top safety prospect in the class of 2014 and someone that national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell has said is one of the "two or three best safety prospects" he's ever evaluated. High praise comes with lots of expectations, and that's what Blanding found once he arrived in Charlottesville this summer. From day one, he was the starter oppo- site All-American Anthony Harris in the back of the secondary. Against then-No. 7 UCLA in the season opener, Blanding became the first true rookie to start at safety for UVa since 1976.

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