When Notre Dame offered Grant Blankenship in June, he made it pretty clear the Irish offer made a pretty significant impact on his recruitment.
"It was really a big impact because I grew up watching Rudy," Blankenship told SoonerScoop.com. "It was a big deal around the house for me and my family. Any time something happens like that I'm always going to be excited."
With offers from Arkansas, Baylor, Boise State, Cal, Cincinnati, Houston, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Ole Miss, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Oregon State, TCU, Texas Tech, Utah, Washington and Washington State, the three-star standout from The Colony, Texas, had named a list of favorites which included Arkansas, Oklahoma, TCU, Oregon, and Northwestern. As soon as the Irish offered they were right up there among them.
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After a visit to South Bend, he planned to take a vacation and planned a few late July stops on the east coast. However, plans can change and after thinking about it he decided to go ahead and make the call.
"It was his favorite team as a child," The Colony recruiting coordinator Scotty Johnson said via text. "He went to camp and loved everything about it."
In the end he narrowed his choices to Oklahoma and Notre Dame, but the opportunities he saw at Notre Dame were too hard to pass up.
Shortly after his visit to South Bend it was pretty clear coach Brian Kelly and his staff left an impression by painting a clear picture of how they planned to use him in their defense.
"They see my athletic ability," Blankenship told IrishIllustrated.com following his visit. "They want me to either be an end or be a plethora of what an end plays. I could be looking at playing a 'Cat' position. The 'Cat' is usually not as heavy and that's what I would be playing freshman year hopefully. Once I get a little bit heavier so I could deal with the lineman I could be a solid defensive end."