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DE Grant Blankenship commits to Irish

Jul 6, 2013, 2:28 AM EDT

Notre Dame added a new defensive recruit to the growing ’14 recruiting class with the commitment of Texas defensive end – outside linebacker Grant Blankenship. The 6-foot-5 240-pounder had offers from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Washington and a dozen others.

From a profile perspective, Blankenship fits perfectly into the Irish scheme, with the height and length the Irish covet, and the ability to either play as an outside linebacker, or potentially grow his way into a true defensive end.

The Irish offered Blankenship a scholarship in early June, and the coveted edge player camped with the Irish. At the time, he told this about what the Irish coaches had in store for him:

“They see my athletic ability,” Blankenship told Rivals. “They want me to either be an end or be a plethora of what an end plays. I could be looking at playing a ‘Cat’ position. The ‘Cat’ is usually not as heavy and that’s what I would be playing freshman year hopefully. Once I get a little bit heavier so I could deal with the lineman I could be a solid defensive end.”

Pulling a talented player out of Texas is a nice win for co-defensive coordinator Kerry Cooks, who recruited Blankenship. It’s also an important addition at a position that will need reinforcements sooner than later.

Blankenship makes 14 recruits for the Irish, a solid base that’ll likely only add more defensive reinforcements.


  1. mtflsmitty - Jul 6, 2013 at 8:54 AM

    I’m usually a very optimistic guy. But the ’14 class seems to be weak on the defensive line. And I’m afraid “snatching” a 3-star from Texas who didn’t even receive offers from UT nor A&M isn’t going to cut the mustard. 😦

    • johnnymo2013 - Jul 6, 2013 at 9:24 AM

      Yeah, and it’s a really good thing that Weis didn’t infect us with the likes of JJ Watt, who was only a 2 Star and committed to Central Michigan. We had more room for all of those other sparkling defensive line recruits which he hauled. Oh, but UT and A&M didn’t recruit him, so his All-Pro status is currently meaningless. What an Alexander Dum(b)as(s).

    • bernhtp - Jul 6, 2013 at 9:31 AM

      Blankenship is more highly rated than Springmann was, and he is providing competent depth. I trust this coaching staff’s ability to judge and develop talent better than the consensus rating services. With that said, it would be great to get a couple of unquestioned studs at DT/DE. Vanderdoes was a real loss.

      • onward2victory - Jul 6, 2013 at 1:31 PM

        I’m with bern in that I trust this staff’s ability to spot talent. Look at how hard they went after Kyle Allen when he wasn’t ranked super high. And now he’s the top QB prospect in the country after the Rivals camp and the Opening. I know we didn’t get him but it’s just one example of the coaching staff’s scouting expertise.

    • gtizzo - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      The SEC male athlete of the year good old Johnny Football was only a 3 star recruit. That is in a conference full of 4 and 5 star guys.

    • mtflsmitty - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:21 AM

      Some entertaining comments here, and I agree with some of you who honor the coaching staff with your respect in their ability to find talent. But many of the comments in this thread reads like a laundry list of “Things Said When You Feel Like You Have To Be An Apologist For Your Team”.

      “Star ratings don’t matter”
      “The best players in the NFL were 3-star or less”

      Come on guys. Be real. I assume you all are just as skeptical of the system when it comes to star ratings for Jaylon Smith, Max Redfield, and the rest of the five star guys we’ve successfully recruited lately?

      Although there may be now formula per se. I believe the following to be about right:
      – Five star players account for a fraction of 1% of all players who will be recruited into D1 schools.
      – Four star players account for about 3%
      – Three star players account for another 10%
      – Two star players through unranked account for the rest.

      With net numbers so heavily weighted to 3-star and below, of course there are going to be great success stories coming from the three or fewer camp. But proportionately, 4 and 5-star kids are far more likely to have outstanding careers than lesser ranked guys.

      Bern, always appreciate your sober perspectives. Springman an seems like a very serviceable player. We need serviceable depth; but I don’t think either of us think those guys are going to take us to the next level. Yes, it would be great to get a player of Carter’s ability.

      Onward, your second comment makes a ton of sense. Bonner and Blankenship are good, safe gets as the coaches focus on the defensive stars of the recruiting class (top 2% of defensive players).

      Coward, you continue to demonstrate what a numbskull you are. Even though your comments were considerably less pessimistic than normal, you continue to get thumbs down because ppl on this board know football…and you, we’ll you’re just a spineless moron who continues to prove how little you know. Go away. Or take the wager.

  2. mediocrebob - Jul 6, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    You still can’t read a comment section on here without seeing “Vanderdoes” a few times. Time to move on guys.

    This guy could play a number of positions. And if I remember correctly, there was a guy that went by the name of “KAP” from Texas that wasn’t offered by Texas. He did have an offer from A&M I believe but that didn’t carry much weight until…this year?

  3. mediocrebob - Jul 6, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    Anyways, if this kid can turn out the production that KAP did, this is a win. I finally have faith in a coaching staff to develop . How long that staff is around is another question/concern .

  4. dudeacow - Jul 6, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    28 offers. I think that shows how talented this kid is.

  5. fnc111 - Jul 6, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Need a JUCO quarterback for 2014.

  6. fnc111 - Jul 6, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    To the OP, you do realize if UT or A&M offered he’d be going to one of those places, right? Tons of talent in Texas that gets passed over all the time because the state is huge and has unreal population. A three star from Texas is better than a five star from the Midwest, just so ya know. UT can’t offer everyone. This seams like an RKG kid in Blankenship. Don’t expect 12-0 every year. ND is building for potential 10-2 years. If we can get a QB coach and a QB for once ND would win 9-10 games a year for five straight years.

    • dillonbigred - Jul 6, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      I’m sure there are some kids that are overrated by dominating in an area with lesser talent, but the recruiting services rate players on an individual basis nationwide, not per state. A three star Texan should not be the equal of a five star from Ohio or Michigan, for example.

      At first I was disappointed upon reading he is a three star, but I think teams such as the Irish, Oregon, Oklahoma, Arkansas, OK State, and Washington know a good prospect when they see one.

  7. NotreDan - Jul 6, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    All this “3 Star” talk… is complete bologna.

    Blankenship is rated 5.7 and 3 stars by Rivals.

    DeShone Kizer, who everyone loved, is a 4 star, and rated 5.8.

    That’s 0.1 difference for you math majors.

    • nudeman - Jul 7, 2013 at 9:57 AM

      Agree completely.
      Remember, these kids have yet to play their senior yr of HS.
      Blankenship looks to have the type of frame that will fill out perfectly and I’d be surprised if he and Kizer both aren’t rated a lot higher by January.

  8. onward2victory - Jul 6, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Taking Blankenship and Bonner seems to be a strategy by the coaches to ensure that they don’t strike-out along the D-line. It’s like taking a walk or hitting a single. Now that they have a couple guys on board they can focus on getting the big-time (home-run) D-line recruits without having to worry about whiffing completely.

  9. gsprulz - Jul 6, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    This kid is not a 4 star based on his actual weight of only 230. He puts on muscle to his frame along with his speed, Irish get a good one here. Kid was offered by like 30 schools like Oregon, Oklahoma, Kansas St. and Boise St.

  10. jerseyshorendfan1 - Jul 6, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Any relation to Kenny Blankenship from that Japanese game show “Most Extreme Elimination Challenge?”

  11. thefightinfloyds - Jul 6, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    Love it when ND can get recruits out of the major high school football states; Texas, Florida, California. At this point in the process arguing about how many stars a recruit has is pointless, most players are going to rise or fall 3 or 4 times before NSD, especially with another season of high school ball to play…Hopefully these commits stick it out and end up on campus next year, I trust the staff in their recruiting so Im assuming this kid can ball.

  12. irishaggie - Jul 6, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    Boise state only gets 2 and 3 stars and are always good, and send players to the NFL. If you look at the best players in the nfl currently. Most were unrated, or 2-3 stars. It’s nice to recruit the jadaveon clowney’s but the rankings are a nice addition that’s all. If you can play, you can play, and that’s it!

  13. gbwally - Jul 6, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    Thank god someone mentioned Kenny Blankenship, he deserves some love

    • jerseyshorendfan1 - Jul 6, 2013 at 10:07 PM

      Don’t forget Vic Romano he was the brains of that duo.

  14. upthera44 - Jul 7, 2013 at 8:31 AM

    In following ND recruiting in the last couple of years, I’ve been wondering about how scholarship offers work. Maybe someone here can clarify it or provide a link to how it breaks down? I get the sense that offers are often conditional? For example, if ND offers 125 players, and all of them decided to come, ND could still only take 25 or so.

    And now that the 2014 class is up to 14, and there are only 8-10 spots left, they might try to be more selective with the remaining spots and only go for blue chip players. But can they do this? I.e., what if a bunch of 3-star guys decide they want to commit and start filing up the spots? Can Notre Dame take back offers that they already made? Just curious how this system works behind the scenes. Thanks!

    • rdw71 - Jul 7, 2013 at 5:36 PM

      I’m pretty sure they can pull an offer anytime, and I think they got some flack last year for doing just that once they filled their need at a given position. They can even pull an offer after a kid has committed but before NSD (“grayshirting”), but that is really bad form unless the kid got arrested or something. SEC schools do it all the time, but ND has not fallen to that level.

  15. 1historian - Jul 7, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    This kid looks good, but what REALLY impressed me was the fact that this 16 or 17 year old kid actually used the word ‘plethora’. The grammar left something to be desired but at least he knows what the word means.

    I would appreciate a dearth of sarcastic comebacks – lighten up guys.

    • bogtrottin - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:42 PM

      This IMDB cut/paste seemed germane:

      Jefe: I have put many beautiful pinatas in the storeroom, each of them filled with little suprises.

      El Guapo: Many pinatas?

      Jefe: Oh yes, many!

      El Guapo: Would you say I have a plethora of pinatas?

      Jefe: A what?

      El Guapo: A *plethora*.

      Jefe: Oh yes, you have a plethora.

      El Guapo: Jefe, what is a plethora?

      Jefe: Why, El Guapo?

      El Guapo: Well, you told me I have a plethora. And I just would like to know if you know what a plethora is. I would not like to think that a person would tell someone he has a plethora, and then find out that that person has *no idea* what it means to have a plethora.

      Jefe: Forgive me, El Guapo. I know that I, Jefe, do not have your superior intellect and education. But could it be that once again, you are angry at something else, and are looking to take it out on me?

  16. uncmaniac - Jul 7, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    He is a dedicated kid who works hard at everything he does. He leaves everything on the field when he plays and you can’t coach that. I should know, he is my nephew. The Irish got a great kid and an even better football player

  17. irishfootball55 - Jul 9, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    Blankenship makes three verbal DE for the 2014 class. Trumbetti and Bonner are both 4 star DE’s to go along with Jay Hayes a 4 star DT. 4 D Linemen out of 14 verbally committed is a very nice start. Alex Bars and Quenton Nelson both 5 star O Linemen and Elijah Hood a 5 star RB also verbally committed and that is the beginning of another very deep recruiting class. Notre Dame has finally put together top 10, maybe top 5 recruiting classes and the depth keeps growing.

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