Blanc blows past competition

Having the opportunity to compete on the high school level in the stadium of your future college team is an opportunity not often afforded prospects. Sign in or subscribe now to see what this Tennessee commitment told about getting to do just that.

Neyland Stadium played host to a plethora of high school teams from the eastern portion of the state in preseason action last weekend and among those was Knoxville Central.

The top Central Bobcat on the roster is Tennessee commitment Cody Blanc and Volunteer faithful in attendance that gorgeous evening caught a glimpse at what the 6-foot-1, 191-pound athlete looks like on the turf of Shields-Watkins Field.

"It's like a preview of what's in store the next few years being over there," Blanc told

Although the jamboree only allotted one quarter of play for each matchup, it was still a fantastic evening for this future Vol as his Central team took on Bearden.

"Being over there playing with all my high school friends, it's my last year playing with them, that's an experience of a lifetime," Blanc said.

Tennessee is recruiting Blanc as a safety and he got the opportunity to show off some of his speed that was clocked at 4.41 seconds in the 40-yard dash earlier this summer. At one of the intermissions, a handful of competitions took place, including a 50-yard race between the top backs from each team present.

Blanc didn't disappoint the crowd and took home first place.

"I ran track with a bunch of them, and I knew I was faster than most of them," Blanc said of his foes. "I lined up against one of my buddies from Austin East. I think he got either second or third. I knew it was going to be either me or him so I lined up right beside him. I felt pretty good about the race."

West kicker George Bullock prepares to compete in a contest at Neyland Stadium.
(Danny Parker/

Another future Vol on hand at Neyland Stadium that particular evening was Knoxville West kicker George Bullock. The two commits got a quick chance to talk in person.

"George is a good kid; he's a real nice guy. I mean he's easy to get along with," Blanc said.

Other schools that offered Blanc such as Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech have backed off since his pledge to coach Derek Dooley. The speedster said he stays in touch with his primary recruiter, Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney.

"I call coach Chaney about once a week just to touch base with him," Blanc said. "I know they're going through practice right now, and they're busy so I don't keep him long."

Blanc enjoyed an impressive junior campaign with the Bobcats, rushing for 1,170 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also had five kickoff returns for TDs and averaged 39.6 yards per return. Defensively, he totaled 55 tackles.

Central carried a 7-0 lead over visiting Knoxville Catholic in Week Zero play on Friday night before rain and lightning forced an evacuation of the stadium. Play resumes back at Central tonight at 7:30.

"Your first game that's a nervous like no other really," Blanc said. "Going out there, nobody knows what's going to happen. It's so early in the season anything can happen mistake-wise and injuries. You have to have a solid week of practice and hopefully come out fired up and play at the level we should play at. I think if we do that we should be fine."

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