#STRecruiting: For Blanton, state title first and then decision

Stone Blanton

LB Stone Blanton (6-2 220) of Madison, MS figured out pretty early in his recruiting process the top four schools he would consider. USC, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Texas A&M remain at the top of his list. Of course, Blanton has been a baseball commitment to the Bulldogs, but his decision will be based on football.

Blanton has visited all of his finalists at least once, including an unofficial visit to Mississippi State last weekend for the Alabama game. Other than that, and his official visits to Starkville and Ole Miss in September, Blanton has put his recruiting activity on ice.

“It’s still pretty much the same,” Blanton said.  “Just waiting for my season to end.  I’m kind of focusing on a state championship.  We’re coming up on playoffs, so I’m trying to focus on that right now.  Nothing has really changed with the whole recruiting side of things.”

USC head coach Shane Beamer and defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Clayton White have been all over Blanton since they started recruiting him earlier this year. They are trying to sell him on early playing opportunities and being a part of something new as they build the program. Blanton took his official visit to USC in June, and he’d like to get back before the end of the season.

“We hope so,” Blanton said.  “It’s about making time and finding time to get back out there.  It’s a little farther than Ole Miss and State are.  I’ve been keeping up with them.  I love coach White and coach Beamer.  They are great people, and I can definitely tell they are about to turn that program around for sure.  I’m excited to see them grow.”

Blanton has watched the Gamecocks from afar, keeping an eye on the defense and a focus on the linebackers.

“I like the way coach White uses his linebackers,” Blanton said.  “It’s always good to have your linebackers coach to be your defensive coordinator because he’s going to want those guys to succeed, be the leading tacklers and all that.  The way he’s using them right now looks really good, kind of the same way I play.”

Blanton said no decision will come from him until after his season at the earliest.

This season Blanton has made 80 tackles with 9 sacks and 17 tackles for loss according to MaxPreps stats. For his career, he has 259 tackles, 18 sacks and 42.5 tackles for loss.

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