The Missouri Tigers have received the commitment of an extremely intriguing 2014 prospect in tight end Kendall Blanton.
Blanton's an in-state recruit—he's from Blue Springs, Mo.—and that's great news if you're a Mizzou fan. In-state recruiting is crucial for the success of any given program, so being able to land another local player is huge for Gary Pinkel and his staff.
Here's the ESPN RecruitingNation report on the commitment:
Junior Kendall Blanton (Blue Springs, Mo./South) has become Missouri's fourth Class of 2014 pledge, multiple sources report.
The Tigers are his only scholarship offer at this time, but other programs such as Kentucky and Tulsa recruited the 6-foot-6, 225-pounder, who also plays basketball for Blue Springs South.
As the report states, Blanton represents the Tigers' fourth commitment for 2014, all of which are in-state recruits. That says a lot about Missouri's focus in the early goings of this recruiting cycle, and it's undoubtedly a great start.
The ESPN RecruitingNation report also said Blanton's father played in the NFL: "Blanton's father, Jerry, played seven seasons at linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs after attending Kentucky."
Sure, the game of football has drastically changed since that time-period, but no matter the era, you have to be extremely exceptional and talented to make it to the NFL level, let alone play seven seasons for the same team.
If that talent was passed down to his son—which it sure seems like it—Missouri has just landed a recruit with unlimited potential.
What makes Blanton such an intriguing prospect is the intangibles that he brings to the table.
He's 6'6'', 227 pounds, so he has great size for a tight end.
He'll be a huge mismatch anywhere on the field, and he could end up being a big-time target for the Tigers. He also plays basketball, which would lead one to believe he's extremely athletic.
We've seen how the skill set of a basketball player can translate to football (jump balls and using the body to wall off or "box out" a defender), so this is another bit of good news for Mizzou fans. Just look at the NFL career that Antonio Gates has been able to build based off his abilities as a basketball player.
That's the type of tight end that Blanton has the potential to be.
Just because a father, brother or family member played in the league, that does not mean that it always translates to a recruit. That said, more often than not, that talent and athleticism is passed down and—at the very least—the raw talent is there.
Blanton has great potential and a NFL pedigree.
Overall, there's a lot to feel good about in regard to this commitment if you're a Missouri Tigers fan.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!