A Quin-tessential playmaker

Posted at 12:46 AM, Mar 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-24 00:52:17-04

Quin Blanding and Bryce Hall react after a defensive play against the Duke Blue Devils at Wallace Wade Stadium. (Photo: Lance King/Getty Images)

NORFOLK, Va. - In 2014, when Quin Blanding, the top-rated safety recruit in the country, chose UVA over the scholarship offers of 24 other schools, the Cavaliers program was thrilled to have him. But, don't be surprised if Blanding's commitment in 2017 is even more valuable to Virginia.

In three seasons at UVA, the Bayside High School product has more tackles than any other defensive back in 'Hoos history. However, the 6' 2" playmaker chose not to leave school early for the NFL despite earning first-team All-ACC honors in 2016. Instead, Blanding will be back in orange and blue next season.

"This determines my next level of play and I still have some unfinished business at UVA," Blanding told News 3. "I'm ready to attack it. Next week starts spring ball, we're ready to get after it - ready to get to this season and ready to prove people wrong."

Blanding's 358 career tackles are the most among all returning FBS players in 2017. The 'Hoos defensive back chatted with News 3 at the 72nd annual Norfolk Sports Club Jamboree, an event at which Blanding was honored as the most outstanding college athlete from a high school in Virginia.