Blanding Named ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year
Dec. 2, 2014
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia freshman free safety Quin Blanding has been voted the Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Rookie of the Year, as announced Tuesday by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA).
The UVa freshman becomes the first Cavalier to be named ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year, an accolade first awarded by the league in 2007. Virginia has had two previous ACC Rookies of the Year, first in 1984 when wide receiver John Ford won the honor and most recently in 1994 when defensive back Ronde Barber took home the honor.
Blanding (Virginia Beach, Va.) finished the regular season No. 2 in the ACC and No. 12 in the nation with 123 tackles. He finished his rookie campaign tied with Jamie Sharper (1996) for No. 10 in the UVa record book for tackles in a season and the 123 stops is the most tackles by a Cavalier in a season since Angelo Crowell had 155 in 2002. Blanding is one of two freshmen in the nation to lead his team in tackles (NC State’s Jerod Fernandez, 76) and he also led UVa with 79 tackles on rushing plays for the nation’s No. 21 rush defense (120.7 per game).
Blanding was the first Virginia true freshman to start a season opener at one of the two safety positions since Tony Blount did so in 1976. Blanding emerged as the Cavaliers’ leading tackler in seven games. His 123 tackles set a UVa freshman record for stops in a season, passing Ahmad Brooks’ 2003 record of 117.
Miami’s Brad Kaaya was voted the overall ACC Rookie of the Year and ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year.