The North Florida Christian High School safety left his visit with rave reviews of the Auburn coaching staff and program. Even better news for Coach Gene Chizik and his Tigers is that Blanks notes that Auburn will be a major player in his recruitment.
The 6-1, 190 pound Blanks already has offers from the likes of Alabama, FSU, Georgia, South Carolina and USF, but at this point the Auburn coaches have made the biggest impression on the talented defensive back.
When asked what it was about Auburn that has peaked his interest, Blanks tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "The coaches, man, the coaches. They are a couple of genuine guys. They stick out more than any other coaches that I have met so far just because the fact that one of the things they talk about with me is building relationships and that is one of the things that I look for when I go to a school. That is one of the things that the coaches talked to me about all day…just building relationships and I really like that.
"It seems like a family out there, just looking at the guys and talking to the coaches it seems like a family, you would not know it is a football team out there," he says. "So that is one of the things a really like about Auburn."
This visit this week was first trip for Blanks to the Plains. "I loved it, man. I like Coach Chizik. He is a very nice guy--a genuine coach. There is more about him than just football. I love the campus, it's a nice atmosphere. I'm falling in love with it. It's just a very nice place."
Blanks notes that running backs coach Curtis Luper is recruiting him for Auburn.
"Coach Loop, we already have a good relationship," the rising junior says. "We started talking a couple of months ago, and we are just starting to heat up. Coach Chizik offered me the scholarship, that's really exciting. I'm loving Auburn. It's a very nice place."
Blanks has already visited Alabama, Georgia, and Florida State this summer. "Comparing them Auburn is definitely at the top,"?he says. "Auburn is going through a couple years where they are building back up, but the facilities, comparing them, are just the same, but like my Coach told me, every football field a go to is going to be 100 yards and the buildings are going to be big so I have to build relationships, and that is one of the things that I did with Coach Chizik. And Me and Coach Luper are pretty cool so Auburn will definitely be in my Top 10 whenever I get that ready."
Commenting on what he talked to Chizik about on his visit, Blanks says the possibility of playing for the coach's team is intriguing. "He likes my size and my demeanor," the safety says. "He's seen my tape and he said that I am definitely one of the guys that will fit into this program right away.
Coming from a guy that has coached three prestigious defensive backs that have won the Jim Thorpe Award he knows what he is looking for and he says that he sees it in me that I could be one of those guys," Blanks adds."
This probably won't be the last time Blanks is on Auburn's campus this year. "Definitely. I'll be back in the fall," he notes. "I'm not sure what games yet, but I'm definitely coming back."
The relationships that he builds with the coaching staffs that are recruiting him will likely play a major role in Blanks' decision-making process. "I want to come to a place where I feel at home--a place where I feel the guys that are coaching me have my back, not only on the field but off the field so that would be my first (criteria), just building relationships with the guys that I'm going to spend the next four or possibly five years with-- guys that are in it for my interest, not only for theirs.
"My second would be being in a great atmosphere, just being in a city that is welcoming, a city that you feel nice in," the safety says.
Blanks had a stellar sophomore season, tallying 86 tackles, four interceptions, and a couple of forced fumbles. In addition to producing on the field the safety is getting the job done academically, too. "I won't have a problem with any test," noting he has a 3.3 grade point average. "I'm good academically."