Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside safety Quin Blanding has discussed many reasons for his decision to commit to UVa. Virginia's commitment to the football program are another reason.
Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside five-star safety Quin Blanding
On his visit to Charlottesville three weeks ago, Blanding viewed a big piece of the athletic department's commitment to head coach Mike London and the football program; the new indoor practice facility and newly-surfaced practice field.
"It goes to show you that Coach London and the athletic department are serious about improving every bit of the program," said Blanding. "Virginia offers so much in terms of academics and the football program itself, having the new indoor practice facility is another step in improving the program."
In fact, Blanding was the first recruit ever to step on the new playing surface.
For that matter, the five-star prospect was the first player, recruit, signed, or otherwise, to set foot on the new field surface outside of the McCue Center.
"It was a big honor when Coach London said that I was the first person to step on it, it was a true honor. Now, I feel like I have to go out there, where it all starts, the practice field, and make a name for myself and a name for Virginia.
"The new practice field and the indoor practice facility are amazing. Even down to the actual surface of the field. It's plush," said Blanding laughing. "I can't wait to start gliding through those new blades of grass in practice."
The financial commitment to improve UVa's football facilities is one of the commitments that further fueled the nation's No. 1 safety to give his pledge to Virginia.
The other was London's commitment to play the best teams in the country.
During Blanding's career, he will play in out of conference games UCLA, BYU, Oregon, Stanford, and Boise State.
Marquee games bring out marquee players according to Blanding.
"That's big. That's what it's all about. Just like Coach London told me, he's building the team to be the best. To prove that, you have you play the best. If that means flying out to Oregon, UCLA, Boise State, or lining up games against the SEC, that's what he's going to do.
"It's another of the reasons that I selected Virginia. In this state, we have so many great athletes, if we stick together and go to the same school, instead of spreading out and going our separate ways, we can contend for a national title.
"That starts will playing in big games and Virginia is showing that we are willing to play anyone, anywhere. It's our time to turn this around and do it in big games like against Oregon."
The Bayside star made it no secret that he wanted to make his decision known early. He wanted the recruiting world to know his plans, so he could be the lead dog in helping his school of choice corral top talent.
Blanding made his school of choice known on Wednesday and he's not taking a breather before letting other players know that Virginia is where he wants other top recruits to join him.
"It's a relief to make my decision known. Now I can focus on the recruits that I know that I want to join me at UVa and ones that can make an impact at Virginia with me. Now I can tell them that I'm going to Virginia and I really want you to join me there.
"UVa is where we can stand as a unit and where we can make a name for our state and our state school."