Coach Brian Kelly received his 14th verbal commitment for the 2014 class on Friday from DE Grant Blankenship (The Colony, TX - The Colony). He is listed at 6'5"/235 lbs and 4.75 40 yard time.
Blankenship just earned an offer from the Irish in June and then visited campus at the end of the month. He grew up a Notre Dame fan, and chose the Notre Dame over Oklahoma and several other programs making a recent push for his services. He also held nearly 30 offers from programs such as Arkansas, California, Oregon, Ole Miss and TCU.
Recruiting Service Rankings:
ESPN - 3 star (#36 DE, #61 TX), 79 Grade
Rivals - 3 star (#26 DE, #54 TX), 5.7 Grade
Scout - 3 star (#54 DE)
247Sports - 3 star (#23 SDE, #70 TX), 87 Grade
247Sports Composite Score - 3 star (0.8656), #525 Overall (#22 SDE, #61 TX)
Grant 2012 2013 Football Highlights (via Grant Blankenship)
Blankenship should have an immediate impact for the Irish. He should contribute as a freshman on special teams and get some reps at Cat Linebacker, then bulk up and move to DE long term. This looks to be the plan with current sophomore Romeo Okwara and initial indications appear to be the same plan for Blankenship.
At his current 235 lbs, Blankenship looks really thin-so there is plenty of room for him to bulk up to the 285-300 lb neighborhood the staff prefers for the 3-4 DEs. He is a natural pass rusher with a great motor. His highlight show that he doesn't give up on plays and continues to pursue from wherever he is on the field. He does a nice job setting the edge and maintaining leverage on outside running plays. Long term, he should be a nice DE for the Irish in a few years and is reminiscent of JJ Watt at the college level.
Welcome to Notre Dame Grant!