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February 18, 2011

Blanks' instincts are key to success in secondary

An elite corner/safety prospect should have good size, the ability to tackle in the open field, great vision, and terrific instincts. 2012 defensive back Travis Blanks, out of North Florida Christian high school, has all those characteristics and more. He currently stands at 6-foot-1 and 195 lb's and has a solid frame to add more weight. When watching him play, you can see that he loves to come up and hit at the line of scrimmage and rarely misses a tackle in the open field. However, when it comes to vision and instincts, that is where Blanks shines.

"I feel I have a knack for the ball. I just find it. There is nothing better than reading the quarterback's eyes and just breaking on the ball before the receiver even turns for it. After that, it's either pick 6 or layin' the wood."

Blanks had a big junior season and with that, his recruitment really started taking off. His numbers improved at receiver, but it was his play at safety and punt returner that have the coaches begging for his services.

"This season was definitely my best year statistically. We didn't do as well as a team this year, but we will be back next year. Overall, I thought it was a good year all around. I made a lot of plays in the secondary and people are starting to see that I have what it takes to be a major defensive back at the next level. I am really looking forward to next year for my team, as well as myself. I just want to stay healthy, win a state championship, and get ready for the next level."

Being from Tallahassee, Florida most think Blanks will end up at Florida State. However, he is completely open and is looking forward to taking all his visits and finding the best place for him.

"I already took a trip to some great schools and realized that there are some really nice schools outside of just FSU. I went to Clemson for their Junior Day and it was, by far, my best trip yet. I had a great time. I am still deciding where I will take my officials, so that is still up in the air, but I did go to a few schools during the football season. I saw Auburn vs. LSU, Auburn vs. South Carolina, Auburn vs. Georgia, Georgia vs. Georgia Tech, Florida State vs. BYU, Florida State vs. Samford, and Clemson vs. Miami. I definitely have some favorites, but I am open to everyone. All bets are off. Staying home isn't the most important thing. I can go anywhere and I want to look around. I will say though, I am open to all the state schools, but right now, I would say Florida State is my top choice among them. As of late, they have put the pull court press on. I haven't really had a chance to look at Florida and the new staff so I am looking forward to that visit."

Although he has some favorites, Blanks wants it known that he has no leaders and the depth chart will be one of the most important things he looks at when looking at schools.

"I really don't have any leaders. I have so many good schools that I am looking at that it's hard to pick right now. I really want to go to a school with a favorable depth chart. I don't want to sit down for a year, practice for a year, and then play my third year. I want to be three and out and possibly go to the league. I don't want to go to a school that is 12 deep at defensive back. I am open to playing safety and cornerback, but I really want to play cornerback. To be honest, I try to play like Antonio Cromartie. My 9th and 10th grade year, my coach, Tim Cokley, was also the coach for Cromartie and Ernie Sims. Every day at practice he tells me how much I remind him of Cromartie with my size and speed."

During his junior campaign, Blanks registered 104 tackles and 4 interceptions for North Florida Christian high school.


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