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Blanding heading to Under Armour All-American Game

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During
his freshman season at Bayside High School,
style="font-weight: bold;">Quin Blanding
was a two-way
starter on a team that won the Eastern Region championship and advanced
to the state semifinals before ending their season winning 13 of 14
contests.
It was clear early on that the 6-foot-2, 208-pound
five-star safety was a special player. He's spent the last
three
years dominating most games in which he played in the Tidewater area of
Virginia while also proving himself at a number of camps to be one of best prospects in the
nation.
On Wednesday evening after
practice, as his team prepares to take on Princess Anne High
School in
their second game of the season, the Marlins' standout received his
jersey for the 2014 Under Armour All-American game to which he
committed.  The contest will be played on Jan. 2 at
Tropicana
Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.
"It's just an honor to know that all my hard work is finally paying
off.  My mom always told me, and my dad too, 'always keep
working hard and good things will come, so it's an honor,'" said
Blanding after the ceremony.
In
2012, Blanding was named the Beach District Defensive Player of the
Year after recording 111 tackles, five interceptions, three blocked kicks and two
fumble recoveries.  Additionally, he totaled 1,035
yards and six touchdowns playing wide receiver.  All told, in three years
on
the high school gridiron, the standout has collected 15
interceptions on defense and added 97 receptions for 1,715 yards and 15
touchdowns on offense. Most importantly, his team has won 30 of 37 contests.
"He's been a
worker and he's coachable," says former Bayside head coach Darnell
Moore.  "That desire to win has always been there and it
hasn't
diminished at all.  On top of all that, he's still who he was
when
he was a nobody.  He hasn't let success to to his head.
 He's
been a good teammate and an ambassador for Bayside High School."
After
his senior season, which
opened with a 29-10 victory over Landstown High School last Friday
night, Blanding will take his talents to Virginia; he committed to the
Cavaliers in late February.
"It's a great thing that I'm going to Virginia because now, looking at
the BYU game last weekend, the defense had a really great game with the
new defensive coordinator there.  I like the aggressive
defense that they were playing so I really feel like it fits me now."
Both
at the Under Armour All-American Game and in Charlottesville, Blanding
will be teaming up with fellow five-star Tidewater standout
Andrew Brown from Oscar Smith High School, the nation's top-ranked
safety.
"That's like brother, for real.  We grew up with the same
family and playing on the same teams so me and him are really close
together."
Between
now and the Under Armour game, Blanding is focusing on his senior season and
preparing himself for the next level.
"Just to stay healthy and to finish strong.  Go out with a
bang just like all the other people who graduated here."  
Football Editor Rod
Johnson is now entering his tenth year with VirginiaPreps.com having
first written for the site in 2003. To keep up with even more high
school football news in Virginia, follow him on
href="https://twitter.com/vaprepsrod" target="_blank">Twitter
@vaprepsrod or find him on Facebook under "
href="https://www.facebook.com/virginiapreps.rodjohnson"
target="_blank">VirginiaPreps Rod Johnson". 
He can also be contacted via e-mail at
href="mailto:vaprepsrod@cox.net">vaprepsrod@cox.net.
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