2008 Intro: Robert Blanton

MATTHEWS, N.C. --- On a roster full of prospects with scholarship offers, Robert Blanton is receiving the most interest from college coaching staffs.

"I got offered by North Carolina, N.C. State, South Carolina, Wake [Forest], Virginia, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Michigan – that's all I can think of all the top of my head right now," said Blanton. "They're all pretty much showing the same interest."

Blanton, a 6-foot-1 165-pound cornerback from Matthews (N.C.) Butler, received his first offer after his performance at the Wolverines' camp last summer. He then went on impress the coaching staff at UNC to land his second offer.

Blanton recently received a visit from the North Carolina staff, who were making sure Blanton knew his UNC offer was still valid.

"Coach Butch [Davis] came to our school and I got introduced to him and talked to him for a minute," said Blanton. "He was just coming in to introduce himself and to meet me since he's the new coach there."

While attending camp last summer, Blanton got a sneak peek of what North Carolina has to offer.

"They've got a great campus – it's really nice," said Blanton. "The players are pretty cool. I talked to a couple of their players when I was up there for summer camp."

What he said it won't be a determining factor in his decision, former teammate Ryan Houston signed with UNC earlier in the month. However, that hasn't stopped Houston from trying.

"He's trying to get me up there, though," said Blanton. "It would be cool [to play with him again]."

Also, Blanton says the decisions of his current teammates will have little to no bearing on his college decision.

In these early stages on his recruitment, Blanton is open to all interested schools and doesn't plan on making a decision until National Signing Day, which is almost a year away.

"They all are the same," said Blanton. "I'm going to try to narrow it down to at least five or three by senior year before my football season starts.

"[Until then] I'm just going on visits to see how I like the atmosphere of the colleges and what the academic program has to offer."

This spring, Blanton is planning on attending junior days at Virginia, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and North Carolina. Also, he plans to entertain a fairly hectic summer attending a lot of one-day camps. Blanton's only certain camping stop thus far is in Blacksburg for the Hokies' one-day camp.

While Blanton has nice size and speed, it's his intangibles that have schools like Notre Dame telling Mike Newsome, Butler's head football coach, that Blanton is the top cornerback in the 2008 class.

"Blanton is just a kid who has all the physical tools that a DB needs to be great," said Newsome. "He has another level in him that you can't coach in a kid. He has tenacity about him that you don't find in most kids these days playing football. You see it in the upper echelons of the college players; you see it in the NFL in NFL players."

Although projected as a cornerback, Blanton could easily play any position in the secondary.

"[Recruiters] all ask me where I want to play and I just tell them I can play both positions – safety or corner – and I can play them on either side," said Blanton. "I guess I like corner more since I've been playing it more, but it wouldn't bother me to play safety and lay the wood."

For the past two years, Blanton has seen the majority of his reps for Butler at cornerback where he's consistently matched up against the opponents' top wide receiver.

"I did all right," said Blanton. "Every game I covered the top wide receiver for each squad. I covered Jason Barnes, who's going to USC, and I covered Dominick Magazu – he's going to Boston College. They're pretty good receivers. [Covering them] made me better of course.

"I got two picks against Dominick Magazu and I got a pick on Jason Barnes, so I guess I did pretty good."

Blanton ended his junior season with seven interceptions, returning two for touchdowns. He also collected 12 pass breakups, 147 tackles, and blocked two kicks. For his accomplishments, Blanton was selected to the Associated Press All-State team, the All-Mecklenburg County team for the second year in a row, and was named the Defensive Player of the Year in his conference.

Robert Blanton Profile

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