Blanding, a 6-foot-2, 185-pounder from Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside, has made three trips to UNC with the most recent occurring a couple weeks back for the Tar Heels' 48-34 victory over Virginia Tech. The recent trip marked the first time Blanding watched a football game in Kenan Stadium.
"It was a great atmosphere," Blanding said. "They brought it all with the white out. The whole town and all the fans were all in white, so it just showed a lot about the fans and a lot about the town."
The trio of visits coupled with the "great relationship" with its staff hasn't elevated UNC in Blanding's mind over the other schools vying for the five-star recruit. In fact, he claims no favorites among the 26 schools that have offered him.
"As of right now, all the schools stand high," Blanding said. "It's going to be a hard decision at the end. I don't necessarily talk to all the coaches, but I watch all the games and I like how their defenses play.
"I'm just waiting, laying back right now, and trying to get school work done and about to start taking my SATs and ACTs. I'll start breaking down schools after I get that in order."
Blanding's best estimation for a narrowed list is the middle of his junior year.
"By then I'll start breaking things down and start choosing where I feel comfortable and feeling where I can play at," he said.
Although he hasn't completely ruled out additional in-season visits, Blanding anticipates a spring full of school trips.
"I just go with the flow," Blanding said. "But I know I'll make a lot of visits in the spring."