The Colony (Texas) defensive end Grant Blankenship earned honorable mention all-state honors and first-team all-district honors as a junior in 2012, and has seen his recruitment get off to a hot start.
The 6-6, 240-pound defender has been invited to junior days at both TCU and Texas A&M and holds six FBS offers at this early point in the process. His first offer came from the Big 12 and he remembers the feelings he felt that day when he first learned he had an opportunity to play college football.
"It's been several months. It was toward the end of the season. I remember coming back from practice during the season and I got the offer," Blankenship said. "The first one was from Texas Tech. It was good. I felt I accomplished a little bit, but I knew I had to put more work in. The way the coach at Tech talked about how I have the frame for an NFL-caliber player and all the intangibles that you need, so I got very excited."
Since then TCU, Ole Miss, SMU, Tulsa, and North Texas have joined the Red Raiders on his offer list, and one school in particular currently sits at the top of his list of favorites.
"Ole Miss I like a lot," Blankenship said. "I've heard a lot of good things about the campus and they have a really good recruiting class coming in. They got Robert Nkemdiche the No. 1 ranked d-end. I saw all that and got really excited and when I got on the phone with coach up there we got along really well. I like it. I'm hoping to make a visit soon."
In addition to a possible visit to Ole Miss and junior day trips to TCU and Texas A&M, Blankenship has a few other schools he would like to check out.
"I'm planning on going out to Notre Dame in June," Blankenship said. "I'm actually going with my family to visit some family (in Chicago) and go out to Notre Dame for the camp. I wanted to take a trip to Arkansas. I've been to the campus before. My dad does business up there sometimes so we go up there kind of often. So hopefully I can go up there and take a visit."
Blankenship admits all the attention has been nice, but he also knows there is work to be done. In fact, one of the reasons he currently finds himself with all the college attention is his dedication both on and off the field. He knows he has been blessed with several natural gifts but he is serious in his efforts to make the most of those abilities.
"I do pride myself on my work ethic," Blankenship said. "I'm doing extra work at home and the extra work feels real good. Sometimes I get addicted to the weight lifting. I really can't go a day without it. I didn't have that last year. I've become addicted to the weight lifting and the routine so I've seen it in my body and I'm starting to increase my level of athleticism so that's always good."
The work is paying off and the standout defender admits he thought the attention would come. He did not realize how much or how fast and he is honored by it all. However, he knows it is a byproduct of the work he has already put in and does not plan to stop working now.
"I expected a little bit. I want more, but I'm not trying to be in the spotlight," Blankenship said. "I'm trying to keep working and let it all come to me. I'm not really worried about it."