football

Blanchard back on the market

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This time of year the coaching carousel tends to create chaos across the landscape of college football.
With any coaching change there is the question about how it will impact recruiting. Denham Springs, La., running back Kaleb Blanchard learned this lesson first-hand, as he now finds himself searching for his future college home.
The four-star standout committed to Arkansas in the spring following an injury riddled junior season. Colleges were interested, but Blanchard was a Razorback, and he remained that way. Once new Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema took the job Blanchard learned the Razorbacks were looking at other options at running back and he "wasn't a first priority" and didn't have a committable offer at the moment.
So Blanchard did what he had to do.
It did not take long for college coaches to notice a four-star running back on the loose and give a call to Denham Springs.
"I still have the hometown LSU, Ole Miss, TCU, Tennessee, Vanderbilt," Blanchard said. "I still have pretty good D1 schools looking at me. I'm not stressed out about it. I still have options and I'm happy."
There has been talk of offers, but nothing has been made official at this point. He has not scheduled any in-home visits and he has not set up any official visits, but three schools - LSU, TCU, and Tennessee - have jumped to the forefront of his recruitment.
"I don't have anything down but probably next week or after the bowl games I should have something lined up then. LSU I'll probably take one, TCU and Tennessee," Blanchard said. "Those are the big three right now to be honest."
Being about five minutes down the road from Baton Rouge, there is a big LSU presence and the thought of playing for the hometown team has crossed his mind.
"This probably doesn't help either," Blanchard said with a laugh, "but I also have a teammate who is committed to LSU, so LSU is at our school all day every day for Tevin Lawson. I get a little hometown pull and he keeps telling me to come to LSU. I don't know. It could happen but I don't know."
Of course the other two programs also have quite a bit going for them.
"The running backs coach came during the spring when I was committed to Arkansas and told me how they would use me and how the system worked," Blanchard said of TCU. "I don't know just the success they've had the last couple of years and the overall program as far as where it's headed."
"[Butch Jones] was at Cincinnati and he gave me a call when he went to Tennessee. I didn't even know Tennessee hired him. I thought they had the old coach, Dooley," Blanchard said of the Volunteers. "He gave me a call and let me know he was at Tennessee and how they wanted me and how it's the SEC still and how I could come in and play and he could work with me and they could turn me into the best player and person I could possibly be."
Of course there is also Arkansas. Blanchard has not crossed the Razorbacks off his list and puts them among his top three or four at this moment.
"They're not completely gone. I just didn't want to get left behind. If they went another direction I wouldn't have another option. I just want to keep my options open. They're still in there but I have to keep my options open for what's best for me."
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