Tallahassee native and North Florida Christian former football star, Travis Blanks, has been listed as starter on Clemson’s first team defense for the upcoming season.
In his senior year at North Florida Christian School (NFCS) he led the football team to a victory in the Florida 2A state championship game after an undefeated season.
In addition to playing safety on the NFCS football team, Blanks was also a member of the National Honor Society.
Coming out of NFCS, Blanks was rated as the #15 overall player and the #2 safety in the nation by ESPN.com.
He signed with Clemson and was their top freshman performer in 2012 and a starting safety during most of the 2013 season before suffering a season-ending injury. He has played in 24 games (18 starts) in his career with Clemson.
He decided to take a redshirt year in 2014 to work on the mental aspect of his game and recover from a torn ACL. Despite re-tearing his ACL, he said he made the right decision.
Blanks told Tigernet.com, “I’m glad. I made the right decision, even though I got hurt through that redshirt season.” I just wasn’t ready mentally and physically. It would’ve done myself a disservice to try to live up to expectations and try to do what everyone wanted me to do if I wasn’t mentally and physically ready. At the end of the day, I made the right decision.”
A year later, Blanks said he is as healthy as he’s ever been.
“I don’t have any limitations. I feel the best I’ve ever felt. I’ve been healthy all summer and it’s the best I’ve ever felt.
Brent Venables, Clemson’s defensive coordinator seems to agree.
Venables told Scout.com when asked about Blanks, “He’s not really had any lingering effects. He’s within 5 or 10 pounds on all of his lifts from almost two years. He’s worked really hard. They did a great job rehabbing him and getting him ready. The mental aspect has been really good.”
Blanks will suit up Saturday, wearing number 11, as the starting strong side linebacker for Clemson in their opening game in Death Valley against Wofford. Kickoff is 12:30.