InstantScouting Report: Sam Blankenship, LB, Harding University

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By: Mike Rittelmann @MRitt9140, November 11, 2018

Sam Blankenship, LB, Harding University

Pros:

  • Displays good versatility with the ability to play on the inside or outside
  • Demonstrates a violent punch when he stack and sheds blocks
  • Sifts through traffic well, and finds the ball quickly

Cons:

  • Needs to add pass rush moves when blitzing
  • Jumps routes when in zone coverage, needs to be more patient

Games/Starts: 40/15
Bison debut: at Okla. Baptist (9/5/16)
First career start: vs. Henderson St. (8/31/17)
Stats: 187 tackles, 19.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 3 interceptions, 4 passes defended, 4 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery; 11 special teams tackles
Redshirt: 2014

AWARDS
2017 AP All-America (second team)
2017 D2CCA All-America (first team)
2017 D2CCA Super Region 3 (first team)
2017 All-GAC (first team)
2016 Academic All-GAC
2017 Academic All-GAC

2017
Games/Starts:
 15/15
Position: LB
Stats: 130 tackles, 13.0 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 3 interceptions, 4 passes defended, 4 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery; 1 special teams tackle
HU Leader: Tackles (130), interceptions (3), forced fumbles (4)
HU Single-Season Rankings: t-3rd in forced fumbles (4), t-14th in tackles (130), t-17th in TFL (13.0)
GAC/NCAA Rankings: 1st/58th in forced fumbles (0.27), 4th/55th in solo tackles (5.0), 3rd/60th in total tackles (8.7)
Best Games: 14 tackles at Ouachita Baptist (10/7) … 13 tackles at Ashland (11/25) … 12 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass breakup vs. Southwestern Okla. (10/21) … 11 tackles, 2.0 TFL, 1.0 sack, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery at Arkansas Tech (11/11) … 10 tackles, 1 forced fumble vs. Henderson St. (8/31) … 10 tackles, 2.0 TFL at Okla. Baptist (9/23).

2016
Games/Starts:
 14/0
Position: LB, ST
Stats: 34 tackles, 4.5 TFL; 5 special teams tackles
Best Games: 8 tackles, 0.5 TFL at Henderson St. (10/8); 2 tackles, 2.0 TFL vs. Okla. Baptist (9/3)

2015
Games/Starts:
 11/0
Position: LB, ST
Stats: 23 tackles, 2.0 TFL, 1.0 sack; 5 special teams tackles
Best Game: 4 tackles, 1.0 TFL vs. Southern Nazarene (9/12)

PREVIOUS SCHOOL
A 2014 graduate of Union High School in Tulsa, Okla.
Position: DB
Stats: 104 tackles, 2.0 sacks as a senior
Honors: first-team All-State … first-team All-District … first-team All-Metro … team captain … FCA president … Wendy’s High School Heisman Finalist … his uncle, Bill Blankenship, was the head coach at the University of Tulsa from 2011-14
Coach: Kirk Fridrich

PERSONAL
Born:
 Sept. 30, 1994 in Plano, Texas
Major: Finance
Parents: Joe and Rosa Blankenship … has one brother (Malachi) and nine sisters (Annie, Aaliyah, Amy, Glory, Erica, Jerusha, Lottie, Hannah, and Miriam)

CAREER HIGHS
All-purpose yards: 
17, at Indianapolis, Nov 18, 2017
Interceptions: 1, at Ferris State, Dec 02, 2017 ; at Indianapolis, Nov 18, 2017 ; at Northwestern Okla., Oct 14, 2017
Long interception return: 16, at Indianapolis, Nov 18, 2017
Tackles: 14  [t-10th], at Ouachita Baptist, Oct 07, 2017 (10-4)
Sacks: 1.0, East Central, Nov 04, 2017 (1-0); at Arkansas Tech, Nov 11, 2017 (1-0)
Tackles for loss: 3.0  [t-19th], at Ferris State, Dec 02, 2017 (2-1)
Fumbles forced: 2  [t-1st], at Arkansas Tech, Nov 11, 2017
Fumbles recovered: 1  [t-4th], at Arkansas Tech, Nov 11, 2017
Pass breakups: 1, Southwestern Okla., Oct 21, 2017