Blankenship ready for the Next Step

Last summer, Ohio State secured a commitment from Pittsburgh native, Evan Blankenship. The three-star prospect has been working hard as he prepares for his career at Ohio State. checked in with this blue chip lineman on his upcoming relocation to the Buckeye state.

"I'll be arriving on campus on June 17th, than classes start the next day. I'll of course be doing [team] workouts also. It's a very short summer for me."

While Evan Blankenship will officially become a Ohio State Buckeye in a matter of days, he has been one at heart for many years.

"I first loved OSU when I was in middle school," Blankenship explained. "I can't remember my age or the year, but they played Iowa and won. I may still have the ticket, actually. Since then, I have been a die-hard Buckeye fan. So I would say around 8th or 9th grade."

As Blankenship knows first hand, it can be hard to turn down the local favorite like the Pittsburgh Panthers.

"It was tough at first, with Pitt being so close," Blankenship said. "It would have been a lot easier for my mom to make the games. I may have been a lot more comfortable at home, but I wanted to try new things and OSU is only three hours away.

"Yes, I did get a little verbal beating from my friends and hometown when I committed to the Buckeyes, but I have to get used to that, right? Hopefully my friends still like me."

Although Blankenship is a Pittsburgh native, his family remained supportive of his decision to play for the Buckeyes.

"When I committed to OSU, my family was probably more proud of me than excited. No doubt my family from Ohio was thrilled, but when I signed those papers to play for the Buckeyes, no one had a bigger smile on their face than myself."

Ohio State has a rich history of producing quality offensive linemen, especially at center. Evan is eager to begin training under one of the nation's best teachers, Jim Bollman.

"I would like to play center or guard. I'm the perfect size for a center, but I have never played that position before, so it will be new. Wherever they decide to put me at is where I'll work to earn that starting spot."

Like any new college player, Blankenship is eager to earn early playing time. However, he shows great maturity in seeing the benefits of waiting his turn in line.

"Playing right away would be awesome, but getting redshirted and having the extra time to learn the system is also a big plus for me. So whichever one happens is alright with me."

Unlike most seniors who like to kick back and relax, he has remained highly motivated in the off-season. His level of commitment is shown in his excitement to begin the next chapter in his football career.

"I've been lifting and running, watching what I eat, things like that. I'm trying to be at the top of my game by the time I get there, and than when I get there I'll only improve. Basically I'm doing what pretty much every other incoming freshman is doing to get ready. Just trying to look and be my best."

With his arrival just around the corner, he finds himself eagerly awaiting everything about Ohio State , especially the Shoe.

"The fact that every home game will be played in front of 103,000 people! That, and the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. I have been ready for college since I was in 10th grade! Do not get me wrong, I'm still a little nervous, but once I get down to the swing of things I know I'm going to love it."

Most players come to school with a desired number, whether it be a lucky number or a number of significance, but all Blankenship wants is a Buckeye uniform.

"I'd like to wear any number in the 70's. My high school number was 78, so maybe a 70's number other than 78. Putting on an Ohio State jersey is a privilege, so really it doesn't matter what number I get!"

Understanding the hard work that lies ahead of him, Evan Blankenship is determined to leave his mark at Ohio State.

"When I leave Ohio State , I'd like to be remembered as one of the greatest to ever come out of The Ohio State University. That's my main goal to accomplish and I firmly believe that with the coaching staff we have, that's a definite possibility."

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