Blanks Knows Where He Wants To Play

Travis Blanks might be a four-star safety prospect as rated by, but the Florida native envisions things working out differently when he gets to college. In this update, find out where Blanks and his head coach feel he is best suited to play in college and why.

Travis Blanks remains interested in Ohio State, but the Buckeyes might have have placed an early bet on the wrong horse in the race for his services.

A four-star prospect from Tallahassee (Fla.) North Florida Christian, Blanks is listed as a safety prospect by after lining up at free safety as a junior. However, it marked his first position after a move from the spot where he feels most comfortable: cornerback.

"I'm going to a school that wants me at corner," Blanks told "I prefer not to play safety. The majority of them are recruiting me for that. It'll probably be important. That's the position I feel comfortable at and that's where my future is.

"And cornerbacks make a lot of money. That's one of the highest-paid positions in the league and if you can get a corner that can cover and hit, that's a lot of money right there."

The Buckeyes are recruiting him as a safety, he said. Safeties coach Paul Haynes is serving as his recruiter.

The 6-1, 194-pound defensive back included OSU on a list of seven teams he is currently favoring. Also on that list are Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Notre Dame, Nebraska and USC.

"Those are seven schools that I'm highly interested in," he said. "Other schools are not out of it. Those are just seven of my top schools right now. Then again, I haven't been able to get to Ohio State or LSU. Schools like that, I haven't been able to visit yet. When I get to visit schools like that, then I'll be able to analyze and see where they fit in too."

Blanks landed his first scholarship offer at the tail end of eighth grade during spring practices. It came from Florida State and proved to be memorable for a number of reasons.

"Jimbo Fisher, before he was the head coach, came out and watched me in spring practice," he said. "He offered me on the spot. That was my first time ever playing corner. He watched me play my first rep ever playing corner."

After two seasons at the position while also dabbling in offense, Blanks made the move to safety as a junior at the behest of NFC head coach Robert Craft.

"We keep him in the middle of the field for a number of reasons: not only to make plays everywhere, but also he helps us get lined up right," the coach said. "He's the guy at free safety who keeps everything in front of him. That's the kind of kid Travis is. Travis would tell you that corner is where he's rather play probably but if we ask him to play safety he's going to play safety and he's going to learn it and try to get as good as he can at it."

In his first game at the position, Blanks said he racked up 20 tackles and recorded an interception.

"It wasn't weird at all," he said. "It's all football, just from a different spot. It wasn't really that big of a change for me because it still is football and you still have to make plays."

In his first year at the position, Blanks recorded 104 tackles and four interceptions while playing every snap at free safety. As a sophomore, Blanks had 86 tackles and four interceptions at cornerback.

Craft said Blanks' tackling abilities make him a natural fit to play boundary corner in college, allowing him to be active in stopping the run game as well as the pass.

"He's physical enough to play in the boundary but he's also skilled enough to cover," he said. "He's got good enough feet and good enough hands to be physical but also his cover skills are good enough to do that."

Blanks also lined up at wide receiver last season on nearly half the team's plays, recording 35 catches for 356 yards and eight touchdowns.

"Defense is easy, man," he said. "On offense you've got to think too much. You've got to think about if this guy goes here but on defense if you can hit somebody and you can do your assignment, you're good. That's all you need to do."

He has not yet visited OSU's campus but said he might take an official visit to Columbus during the fall. With Tressel and the university set for an August meeting with the NCAA to discuss alleged violations, Blanks said the circumstances as they stand now will have no impact on his decision.

"It all depends on the situation," he said. "While it is a factor, at the same time it's not because you can't believe everything that you read. If you don't know what is going on in-depth then you can't make assumptions. If something happened with the NCAA that they were on probation, then it will affect (me), but as far as hearing about it that has no effect on me."

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