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Quin Blanding named ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year
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by Andy Hilton, recruit757

UVA Safety Quin Blanding (Photo: Andy Hilton/recruit757)

UVA Safety Quin Blanding (Photo: Andy Hilton/recruit757)

If there was one sure fire recruit in the 2014 class, it had to be Quin Blanding.   The Bayside grad committed to Mike London and the UVA Cavaliers early, then lobbied hard to get other top recruits to join him.   The 2014 class ended up being a great one for Coach London, netting him Blanding, Gatorade National Player of the Year Andrew Brown, and several other top players to make it his best recruiting class yet.

On Tuesday, Blanding’s hard work on the field paid off with his first major collegiate award: the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year.

At one point in the season, Blanding led the ACC in tackles.   He finished second in the conference with 123 total tackles, only four behind the leader, linebacker David Helton of Duke.   He was 12th in the nation in total tackles, which is astounding considering that Blanding is a true freshman.

“Quin had an exceptional first year at Virginia, but that did not surprise us because of the total commitment he made since the first day he arrived last summer,” Virginia head coach Mike London said in a release by the ACC. “Quin comes early and stays late. He loves to learn, and you can tell that because he is a great listener.

“He has been a joy to coach. As good as he was this year, he’ll be the first one to tell you he has room to improve and get better. He is very humble and demonstrates great respect for the game of football.”

Blanding was an overwhelming choice for ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year, earning 37 votes out of a possible 55.

- Andy Hilton