View Full Version : '14 TX DE Grant Blankenship (7/5/13 Notre Dame LOI)

06-10-2013, 12:31 PM
Strongside defensive end
The Colony (TX) The Colony

Wt:230 lbs
40:4.6 secs



Notre Dame just offered. Other offers include Arkansas, Baylor, California, Cincinnati, Illinois, Iowa St, Kansas, Kansas St, Ole Miss, North Texas, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Oregon, Oregon St, San Diego St, SMU, TCU, Texas Tech, Tulsa, Utah, Wake Forest, Washington, and Washington St. Interest from Tennessee, Texas, and Texas A&M.


06-10-2013, 12:51 PM
Gotta love seeing Northwestern in that group. You Go Wildcats !!

07-05-2013, 07:07 PM

07-05-2013, 07:53 PM

Jake Brown ‏@Jake_Brown
The Colony (Texas) DE Grant Blankenship has committed to #NotreDame, his coach confirms. Irish hosted him on a visit last month.
7:03 PM - 5 Jul 13

07-05-2013, 08:05 PM
Notre Dame football recruiting: Texas DE commits to Irish

Posted: Friday, July 5, 2013 6:39 pm | Updated: 7:58 pm, Fri Jul 5, 2013.
TYLER JAMES South Bend Tribune tjames1@sbtinfo.com | 0 comments


Notre Dame added to its defensive front seven on Friday when 2014 defensive end Grant Blankenship verbally committed to the Irish.

The commitment of the 6-foot-5, 235-pound prospect was confirmed to the Tribune by Rudy Rangel, Blankenship’s head coach at The Colony (Texas) High School.

News of the commitment started to spread after Notre Dame cornerbacks coach Kerry Cooks, who recruits Texas, hinted at it on Twitter Friday evening.
“And the boat keeps filling up....stay tuned,” Cooks wrote.

Blankenship ranks as a three-star prospect according to both 247Sports.com and Rivals.com. 247Sports slates Blankenship as the No. 23 strongside defensive end in the 2014 class. Rivals ranks him 26th.

Blankenship is the 14th member of Notre Dame’s 2014 class roughly a year after linebacker Greer Martini became the first verbal commitment.

Blankenship joins Andrew Trumbetti, Jay Hayes and Jonathan Bonner as potential defensive linemen in the current class.


07-06-2013, 04:58 PM
Welcome aboard Grant!!!

07-08-2013, 09:53 AM
I trust the Kelly and the staff on these recent pickups (specifically Bonner & Blankenship), but at what point do you stop taking guys like this given the high interest in Notre Dame that kids like Holley, Elam, and even Carter are showing right now?

Blankenship is a consensus 3*. 247Composite: .8656
Bonner is a 3* on Rivals/247, but not rated by Scout/ESPN. 247Composite: .8300
Trumbetti is a 4* on everyone but Rivals (3*). 247Composite: .9341
Hayes is the only consensus 4* at this point. 247Composite: .9138

Unless one or two of the guys above are going to ultimately be used as LB, then the Irish are already pretty much maxed out on the DL according to most recruiting projections I've seen. And yet, at this point we do not have either a Tuitt-like game-changing DE, or a Nix-like middle of the field swallowing DT/NG. With Vanderdoes defecting, the need to land at least one each of those types of players, especially the DT/NG, is paramount.

Now, I'm all for finding diamonds in the rough (and Bonner sounds like the most exciting under-the-radar defensive prospect in years), but with so many guys already in the fold, are the Irish done on the DL for 2014? 247Sports is predicting Thomas Holley as a 100% ND lean right now. At a 247Composite score of .9629, Holley would be our second highest rated recruit behind Elijah Hood. Tyler Luatua may also get a look on defense and he's rated even higher than Holley.

Lorenzo Carter's in a class by himself and is the true game-changing type of DE I mentioned we need earlier. While he's predicted to stay in the SEC, his recent visit to ND obviously put them firmly in the mix and he's already talking about getting back up to South Bend with his parents.

I guess my point is if Holley, Elam, Williams and Carter all want in, will the Irish take all of them? Can the Irish take all of them? Even if Williams and Bonner get moved to LB that's 6 defensive linemen. Would ND turn away some of the kids that have already committed or go without getting a single defensive back in this class to get them?

07-08-2013, 10:27 AM
I guess my point is if Holley, Elam, Williams and Carter all want in, will the Irish take all of them? Can the Irish take all of them? Even if Williams and Bonner get moved to LB that's 6 defensive linemen. Would ND turn away some of the kids that have already committed or go without getting a single defensive back in this class to get them?

Short answers, yes, yes, no and no.

Long answer, I've heard they could take as many as 9 or 10 front 7 commits. They're at 5 right now. I don't think it's realistic they get all of the 4 you mentioned. 2 of them would be great. Solomon Thomas and Richard Yeargin (who has ND at #1) should also be in "take" category. There are other guys on the board and since it's only July more will probably be added throughout the year. ND doesn't turn away commits like some other schools do, although they weren't terribly upset when Mattingly decommitted last year. Even taking 10 front 7 guys could leave them with enough space to take a DB or 2, Nick Watkins being the best bet right now.

Also remember the staff likes Luatua as an ATH, he could be an OLB when all is said and done.

07-08-2013, 11:20 AM

07-08-2013, 11:30 AM
I trust the Kelly and the staff on these recent pickups

There, fixed it. :biggrin:

07-08-2013, 03:06 PM
Blankenship Decision A Dream Come True


Scott Johnson knew Grant Blankenship had grown up a Notre Dame fan, so the Colony High School recruiting coordinator tried to get in touch with the Irish staff to send film of the 2014 Texas defensive end/linebacker, but had no luck.

Even as Blankenship began receiving dozens of Division-I scholarship offers from the likes of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech, Oregon, Ole Miss, Kansas State, Iowa and Illinois among others, Johnson couldn’t establish any contact with the Irish.

“It really didn’t look like Notre Dame had a lot of interest in him, so we were just kind of playing it like that,” Johnson remembered. “It got to be pretty late in the school year and his mother said, ‘I was really disappointed that Notre Dame didn’t offer him and we haven’t been able to get a hold of anybody at Notre Dame.’ I said, ‘Let me give it one more try and see if I can get a hold of somebody.’”

So Johnson called and left voice messages about Blankenship at the Irish football offices.

“‘He’s 6-6, 240 and runs a 4.7. He’s an all-state defensive end here in Texas. The kid had 16 sacks last year,’” Johnson recalled. “I left all of that on the voicemail and was finally able to get a coach to call me back. I got video directly to him the next day. They watched the video and liked him and then two days later, he had an offer.”

It was clear right away, the offer was a big one.

“Notre Dame was the last school to offer him,” said Johnson. “They got in really late. They were excited about it. Just speaking with the coaches and talking with Grant and his family, you could tell it was a big deal when Notre Dame offered.

“I think up until that point, OU (Oklahoma) probably would have been the top school on the board for him. He had visited OU several times and really felt good about that program as well. When Notre Dame came in and threw their name in the hat, that kind of put a twist on things and he had to make up his mind what he wanted to do. We sat down and talked quite a bit. I told him, ‘You need to go up there and see the campus and make sure you feel good about it. You’ll know. After you visit, you’ll know whether it’s Notre Dame or OU.’”

Blankenship had plans to attend Notre Dame’s camp last month, along with his cousin who lives in the Midwest, long before the Irish ever offered. It may have been the last offer Blankenship would receive, but it was the one he would accept as the 2014 Texas defensive end offered his verbal commitment to the Irish on Friday, not long after taking his first trip to campus for that camp a couple weeks ago.

“After the camp was over, he felt like Notre Dame was the place to be and wanted to go ahead and make a commitment, so that’s what we did,” said Johnson. “I called and got a hold of the coaching staff there and got that done.”

Blankenship had the chance to spend time with the Irish coaching staff, see the campus and be get a sense of the program.

“He had OU and Oregon and several big schools, Kansas State, teams that are predominantly in the top 25 in the country,” said Johnson. “Notre Dame was really high on his list. He grew up an Irish fan. When he was a little boy, he always watched Notre Dame on TV. I think that played a big part in it. He had a childhood fantasy of one day being able to put on the gold helmet and all of that. When he got the opportunity, he wanted to go up there and at least see the campus and everything before he made his final decision. He was able to go up there and felt pretty good about it.”

Blankenship is the 46th Division-I prospect Johnson has helped guide through the process.

“It’s always hectic no matter who it is,” he said. “Whether it’s Notre Dame or Florida State or whoever. It’s always exciting and when you get a kid that’s got 30 offers, it’s hectic.

“My cell phone last month, just my cell phone, had 78 pages of text messages and phone calls. I know this, my wife is glad he made a commitment. She was very happy for him.”

And Blankenship is happy as well. His decision is final and he won’t be making any other visits.

“After we made the commitment, I contacted the other schools that had been recruiting him and let them know he’d made a commitment,” Johnson said. “They were all disappointed obviously, but at the same time, they were happy for him. They understand Notre Dame is a great school and it will be a great opportunity for him.

“He had visits set up to Northwestern and Kansas State while he was in the Midwest, but once he called me and we made the commitment, he cancelled those.”


07-09-2013, 09:11 AM
Blankenship Among Best


Grant Blankenship may not be the best 2014 defensive end in the country, but several college coaches think he may be.

“Every coach that came in here and recruited him said he was the best defensive end that they had seen,” The Colony High School assistant coach Scott Johnson said.

“Oregon was in here and said he was the best defensive end they had seen. (Oklahoma) was in here and said he was the best defensive end they had seen and there are some good defensive ends just right here in Texas. OU said he would be their number one defensive end the first day he walked on campus.”

First-year Oklahoma defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery was the one who told Johnson that. Montgomery arrived from Michigan this spring and said that after spring practice with the Sooners and after watching Blankenship work out.

“He came in and flat out said, ‘Coach, I don’t have one kid who can beat him out at OU. He will be our number one defensive end on day one,’” Johnson said of Montgomery.

Montgomery may have had the chance to back up his word had Notre Dame not extended an offer last month, an offer Blankenship accepted last week.

“They were really, really high on him and up until the Notre Dame offer, that’s probably where he would have gone,” Johnson said of the Sooners. “But he was always dreaming of playing for the Irish and if that’s a kid’s dream and he wants to go get it, I can’t blame him for that. It’s a good school and he’s going to get a good education.”

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Blankenship, who pulled in around 30 offers before committing to the Irish, is that his ceiling is so high.

“He’s still got a lot of room as far as development,” said Johnson. “He’s been a multi-sport guy. He played basketball as a freshman and sophomore, so that kind of took him out of our weight program in the offseason. This last year, he decided, ‘Football is where I’m going to go to college, it’s what I want to do.’ So he decided not to play basketball. This is really his first year in the offseason with us.

“Developmentally, he’s still got so much more room to grow. His frame can pack on a ton of weight. He’s 240 pounds, but he’s lean. He doesn’t hardly have any fat on him. Depending on what Notre Dame wants to do with him, I know they’ve got some different options, he could stay at 240 and be a guy who can take off and run. Or they may decide they need a guy that’s 290 and pack some weight on him. I could see him packing 30, 40, 50 pounds on him. He’s got that kind of frame.”

Blankenship will likely start off as an outside linebacker with the Irish, but could bulk up to play defensive end.

“I don’t think he’s going to get that big on his own,” Johnson said. “At 6-6, he’s probably as tall as he’s going to get. 240 is just his natural body weight at that height.

“I think (strongside linebacker) would be a good spot for him. He runs well, moves well at that weight. But at the same time where he can be third-string outside linebacker or be in the rotation at defensive end, but needs to put 30 pounds on, that may be a decision he may make to try to get playing time.”

Johnson isn’t sure if Blankenship will see the field as quickly as Montgomery promised.

“I don’t know if he can walk in to Notre Dame and play first year, but you can never tell,” he said. “He’s pretty big and he can cover a lot of ground, so depending on how well he adjusts to playing that linebacker spot would determine if he’s ready to go in a year or if he needs a redshirt year to get his feet under him.”

Johnson is confident Blankenship will be able to help the Irish one way or another.

“He’s a high-motor kid,” the coach said. “He’s very fast for as big as he is. He’s deceptively fast. You’ll see on video, he’ll run plays down from the backside. He gets after the football. He’s nasty, he’s going to knock the mess out of whoever’s got it. That’s just kind of the way he is.”

He’s also a solid citizen away from the field, according to his coach.

“He’s really good,” said Johnson. “He’s a yes-sir, no-sir kid. All of the kids in our program are like that.”

And Blankenship is going to be ready to get better too.

“He’s going to be a kid who will get in there and work hard,” Johnson said. “He’s not going to come in bench-pressing 500 pounds because, like I said, this is his first year in our offseason program. But he’s also a kid who is going to get up there and work.

“Here in a high-school level, he’s the best player around, but when he goes to college, he’s just going to be another player. Everybody is going to be able play, so he’s going to have to find ways to better himself. We’ve had that discussion several times.”

Johnson has sent 45 prospects to the Division-I level before and has shared his experiences with Blankenship.

“I’ve had some kids go off to college and do great. I’ve had some kids go off to college and they’re back after a year. The kids who don’t make it, it’s always because of work ethic. We’ve had that discussion several times and he understands he’s going to have to get in there and outwork some people and make his mark that way.”


07-09-2013, 10:14 PM
Notre Dame football recruiting: DE commit Blankenship 'a rare breed'

Posted: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 9:33 pm | Updated: 10:06 pm, Tue Jul 9, 2013.
TYLER JAMES South Bend Tribune tjames1@sbtinfo.com

Grant Blankenship made up his mind.

Except there was one problem: he didn’t have cell phone service. So Blankenship took a break from his family vacation on a lake resort last weekend to find service to call Scott Johnson, recruiting coordinator for The Colony (Texas) High football program. He then had Johnson inform Notre Dame he was ready to verbally commit to the school.

It marked the end of an unorthodox recruitment between the 2014 defensive end prospect and Notre Dame.

Many programs stopped by The Colony High this spring to evaluate and offer Blankenship following a junior season that saw him tally 80 tackles, 16 sacks and 14 tackles for a loss in 10 games.

But as his junior year came to an end, Blankenship hadn’t heard much from Notre Dame. He mentioned it to Johnson, who sent the staff film of Blankenship, and soon learned they hoped to offer him.

“I told them on the phone when I first called that I was kinda upset they didn’t see me at first,” Blankenship said. “They said it was just a matter of they couldn’t find me. They were getting new staff members (in the recruiting office) and all that so it was just like a transition thing. It wasn’t the fact that they didn’t like me.”

The explanation was enough for Blankenship to schedule a visit to Notre Dame, a program he idolized growing up, for late June. He spent three days visiting, the first day taking part in a camp, and got a sense for the atmosphere, the players and the coaching staff.

He performed for defensive line coach Mike Elston on the first day and liked what he saw in the following days when he watched his future coach teaching other players.

He spent time talking to defensive linemen Louis Nix and Stephon Tuitt and even met up with an old friend, freshman wide receiver Torii Hunter Jr. The two attended elementary school together.

“I loved the guys that are up there. You can tell they’re all smart and they have their things together,” Blankenship said. “I don’t see that sometimes at other schools. I can walk up to a guy that barely knows English, but at Notre Dame you don’t find that at all. Everyone there has their stuff together.”

Looking back on his recruitment, Blankenship now says he knew Notre Dame was the place for him after meeting Elston. His relationship with the defensive line coach and the rest of the coaching staff tipped the scales for Blankenship after taking in what Notre Dame offered him athletically, academically and spiritually.

When he arrives at Notre Dame, Blankenship could come with some position flexibility on the defense. He’s played defensive end in a four-man front for head coach Rudy Rangel at The Colony High, but he could also play the outside linebacker position termed “Cat,” in Bob Diaco’s 3-4 defense at Notre Dame, whose primary responsibility is rushing the quarterback.

Rangel said he’s interested to see how Blankenship develops at the next level after already seeing him dominate in high school. He knew Blankenship was special as early as eighth grade and let him play varsity towards the end of his freshman season. Blankenship, who is now 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds, emerged as a difference maker in his junior season after missing most of his sophomore year with a foot injury.

“He’s extremely long and athletic. His motor is by far, in my opinion, his best characteristic,” Rangel said. “He has one of the best motors that I’ve seen in my career. He goes hard all the time. A lot of teams when they found out about him would run away from him, but he’s so long that he runs you down. He’s just a terror on the defensive line.”

Plenty of colleges lined up to see the stud from Texas this spring. In previous years, Blankenship was playing on the basketball team and often out of the sight of college coaches in the spring. This season he turned his focus to football and the attention came in bunches.

Arkansas, Baylor, Ole Miss, Oklahoma and Oregon are just a few programs that extended offers to him. Blankenship said the Sooners were neck-and-neck with Notre Dame at one point in his recruitment.

“When he stayed with us this offseason, within the first two weeks of open recruiting he had 10 offers,” Rangel said. “Then it got to 20 and then to 30. I have a recruiting coordinator and I want to say he’s at about 40. And that’s because the smaller ones are all afraid to offer him. He’s got 40 legitimate college scholarship offers.”

Rangel has already been working to find more ways that Blankenship can impact games for The Colony. The head coach plans to play him both ways as a senior.

“We put that cat down and his job is to go the quarterback and he just ‘sics’ them. We’re going to also start him at tight end,” Rangel said. “He’s a ridiculous blocking and catching tight end.”

Blankenship ranks as a three-star prospect according to 247Sports.com and Rivals.com. 247Sports slates Blankenship as the No. 24 strongside defensive end in the 2014 class. Rivals ranks him at No. 26 at the position.

“He’s a rare breed. He’s one of those guys that are hard to even handle in practice when he’s running scout because he just knows one speed,” Rangel said. “We know the play’s going to work or not based on if Grant can stop it or not. He’s a special kid.”


12-30-2013, 11:30 PM
The Blankenship's ‏@yblank
Look what @GrantMostdope found under the Xmas tree! #PotofGold #GoldenArmy14 pic.twitter.com/aBlQHMzVt0
Retweeted by Grant Blankenship
7:13 PM - 27 Dec 13

01-22-2014, 10:39 PM
Tyler James ‏@TJamesNDI
Commit Grant Blankenship. RT @yblank: @grantmostdope had a fantastic home visit with Coach Cooks and Coach VanGorder! pic.twitter.com/qtk5nprDuz
10:32 PM - 22 Jan 2014

02-05-2014, 09:48 AM

02-05-2014, 10:00 AM
Rachel Terlep ‏@eTruth_Irish
RT @TJamesNDI: Grant Blankenship's mom shared this photo of him visiting #NotreDame at age 12. pic.twitter.com/YmUHkBjtd6
9:51 AM - 5 Feb 2014

02-05-2014, 10:02 AM
Glad I read the title to that pic. I was like "Damn! He looks a lot younger than he does in the pics". :smile:

Purebred Irishman
02-05-2014, 11:07 AM

08-09-2016, 12:21 AM
Announced he is transferring to Oklahoma to play his final two years.