Blanton Named Seventh Community Captain

The Carolina Panthers have selected Robert Blanton, a senior defensive back at David W. Butler High School (Charlotte, NC), as a 2007 Carolina Panthers Community Captain.

Rated as the top defensive back in the state by, Blanton is on the school's honor role and is a role model in his community.

The Carolina Panthers Community Captain program recognizes outstanding high school student-athletes in North and South Carolina who excel on the football field, in the classroom, and in the community. The Panthers encourage their future development as role models while they continue their personal growth in college and in their professional careers.

Blanton (6-1, 175) is rated as one of the nation's top 100 players by In addition to being named a member of the 2007 North Carolina Shrine Bowl squad, he has received the privileged honor to play in the 2008 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He is projected to play either cornerback or safety in college, and he has shown his ability to play on the offensive side of the ball as well. Against rival Independence High School, Blanton caught the go ahead touchdown – a one-handed catch – late in the fourth quarter to secure the Southwestern 4A conference championship.

Blanton holds a 3.6 GPA at Butler and is on the school's honor roll. He is a First Lieutenant in Butler's JROTC program and has received the JROTC Scholastic Award. He currently holds football scholarship offers from California, Michigan, North Carolina, NC State, Oregon, and South Carolina, but he has given a verbal commitment to play for Charlie Weiss and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish under a full athletic scholarship.

Despite his time-crunched schedule during the football season, Blanton makes time to assist the Youth Football Club of Mint Hill, where he serves as a coach for an 11-12 year old football team. "He's really good with the kids," says director Mike Fairfax. "I really think he has a future in coaching."

Blanton is also the spokesperson for Butler High's D.R.E.A.M. Team, which stands for "Daring to Role-model Excellence as Athletic Mentors." The program is one of the most respected student organizations in the North Carolina school system, and Blanton is one of only twelve hand-selected members. He and the D.R.E.A.M. Team average 500 community service hours per year and provides many positive programs, including: providing literacy training; serving as D.A.R.E. role models; performing puppet shows in the elementary schools on making positive choices; speaking at PTA meetings; and giving "back to school" tours for ninth graders.

Robert Blanton and the rest of the 2007 Carolina Panthers Community Captain class will be recognized at Bank of America Stadium during a special on-field ceremony prior to the Seattle Seahawks vs Carolina Panthers game on December 16th. Award recipients will receive an authentic Carolina Panthers Community Captain jersey and will have the opportunity to participate in select Panthers community outreach events with current Panthers players.

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