Blankenship Reflects On Commitment

Mocksville (NC) Davie County standout Cole Blankenship wasn't sure why his head coach Doug Illing told him he needed to call NC State defensive backs coach Mike Reed on Monday evening.

Mocksville (NC) Davie County standout Cole Blankenship wasn't sure why his head coach Doug Illing told him he needed to call NC State defensive backs coach Mike Reed on Monday evening.

Blankenship was just in Raleigh over the weekend for the Wolfpack's spring game, so he was hoping to receive good news.

"My head coach told me that I needed to call coach Reed at 6:30, make sure I do it," said Blankenship. "I didn't know what to expect but I was going to do it for sure because it was important. When I called coach Reed, he said, 'So what's it going to be?' He said they were offering me a scholarship and asked what I thought about it.

"I was speechless. I didn't know what to say. He asked me if I was going to commit and of course I had to talk with my parents about it first, which I did."

Blankenship didn't commit Monday night. He wanted to talk with his parents first and spend some time thinking about it before pulling the trigger.

"I slept on it and that next morning I realized it was the place for me," he stated. "I went to school thinking I would call the State coaches after school and commit, but to be honest, I couldn't wait. On my way to lunch I went ahead and called coach Reed to let him know that I wanted to accept their scholarship offer."

How did coach Reed react to the news?

"He was excited," Blankenship said. "I also got to talk with coach O'Brien too. That went good... I like coach O'Brien a lot. He's a great guy."

Checking in at 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds, Blankenship is a versatile lineman who has played center, guard, and tackle for Davie County.

"The [State] coaches haven't specified yet where I will play," he said. "But, I think it will be either guard or center... in the interior."

NC State was the first school to offer Blankenship a scholarship, but he was receiving heavy interest from West Virginia, Duke, Wake Forest, East Carolina, and Clemson among others.

An AP all-state first-team selection as a junior, Blankenship could have attended some camps and combines this spring and summer to try and secure more scholarship offers, but he felt like he found what he was looking for at NC State.

"There were a lot of schools looking at me, but I've been to NC State a few times now and every time I felt like it was home," said Blankenship. "I feel like I can be a great addition to NC State.

"Plus, the offensive line coach is great. Ultimately I'd love to play after college and if anyone can help get me there I think he is the man that can do the job."

Blankenship added that NC State's fan support played a big role in his decision, especially after seeing the turnout at the 2012 Kay Yow Spring Game.

it was great, they halfway packed th stadium for th swpring bame. they have a really good fanbase and i'm excited to be there. "The spring game, it was a lot to take in to be honest," he said. "I'd never seen anything like that. The stadium was halfway packed and it showed me they have a really good fanbase which makes me even more excited to be going there.

"Another thing that stood out was how they played. They came to play... they were busting people in the mouth at a spring game. It was physical and uptempo."

Blankenship is NC State's first commitment in the 2013 recruiting class. He was in Raleigh this weekend for the Wolfpack's spring game, and picked his offer on Monday.

"I don't know what to say... it's an honor to be the first commitment," he said. "It's great that they trust my abilities enough to offer me a scholarship right now. I'm happy to be a part of the Wolfpack."

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