The Virginia football team once again flexed its renewed recruiting muscle in the Tidewater area on Wednesday.
Bayside High School safety Quin Blanding -- a consensus five-star prospect, according to the major online recruiting websites -- committed to the Cavaliers' class of 2014. Blanding picked Virginia from a list of 10 finalists that also included Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan, and Clemson.
Three prominent recruiting websites -- Rivals, Scout, and 247Sports -- all rate Blanding as a five-star recruit, and one of the top 10 prospects in the recruiting class of 2014. Rivals rates Blanding the highest overall, ranking him fourth in the country, while Scout and 247Sports both rank Blanding as the top safety in the class.
Blanding can't sign a binding letter of intent with Virginia on February 2014. But he's the latest top prospect from the Tidewater area to pick the Cavaliers since Mike London took over the program after the 2009 season.
London's 2011 recruiting class was highlighted by cornerback Tra' Nicholson, the Gatorade state player of the year that season. Defensive end Eli Harold, the top prospect in Virginia's 2012 class, was rated the state's best player by Rivals. And earlier this month running back Taquan Mizzell, the first five-star recruit of the London era, signed with the Cavaliers.
Like Blanding, both Nicholson and Mizzell attended Bayside High School in Virginia Beach.