#12 Robert Blanton
CAREER: Tall, physical cornerback who utilizes his 6-1 frame when defending wide receivers … has appeared in 37 consecutive games and the only game he did not play was the first game of his freshman year … started 13 career contests for the Irish … six career interceptions are second most among active Irish players and 10 career pass breakups tied for sec- ond on current roster … totaled 123 career tackles with 11 tackles for loss and one sack … only two players on Irish roster enter 2011 with more career tackles and only four Notre Dame players have more career tackles for loss.
2010 (JUNIOR): Saw action in all 13 games and started against Army … totaled career-best 52 tackles on the season, including seven tackles for loss (third on team) … the seven tackles for loss were the most by an Irish defensive back since A[apos]Jani Sanders had 10.0 during the 1999 season … added one sack and two interceptions … tallied four tackles against Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State and Stanford including two solo stops in each of those games … recorded two solo stops, one of which was a sack, against Boston College … registered an interception against the Eagles … totaled three solo tackles against Pittsburgh … added six tackles against Western Michigan … helped the Irish against Tulsa with five stops, includ- ing three solo tackles … blocked a punt against Utah and dashed six yards for a touchdown … first Irish player to block a punt since Sergio Brown on Dec. 24, 2008, against Hawai[apos]i in the Hawai[apos]i Bowl … also first Notre Dame player to return a blocked punt for a touchdown since Toryan Smith (14 yards) on Nov. 15, 2008, vs. Navy … the touchdown was the second of Blanton[apos]s career … he registered a 47-yard interception return for touch- down vs. Purdue on Sept. 27, 2008 … registered four tackles, including one unassisted take-down during the matchup with Army … recorded a season-high against USC with four solo tackles to limit the Trojans … led Notre Dame with career-high nine tackles vs. Miami in Hyundai Sun Bowl … added one interception against the Hurricanes … played 483 snaps on defense.
2009 (SOPHOMORE): Started career-high eight games at cornerback and played in all 12 games … ranked eighth on team with career-best 38 tackles and tied for second with two interceptions … added two pass breakups and one tackle for loss … started season opener against Nevada and tallied one interception and two tackles … helped limit Wolf Pack to 13 of 27 passing for 154 yards … recorded five tackles against Michigan State … posted eight tackles at Purdue including five solo stops … notched four tackles and one pass breakup against USC … tallied one interception, one pass breakup and one tackle against Washington State … helped limit Cougars to 104 passing yards on 12 of 23 passing … totaled two tackles including one tackle for loss against Connecticut … held Huskies to 12 of 25 passing for 141 yards … logged 166:57 of playing time with 35 special- teams appearances.
2008 (FRESHMAN): Appeared in Notre Dame[apos]s final 12 games of the season after sitting out opener vs. San Diego State … started the final four contests at cornerback for the Irish (vs. Navy, Syracuse, USC and Hawai[apos]i) … tallied 33 total tackles and registered three tackles for a loss … inter- cepted two passes and returned one for a touchdown … recorded two tackles (both solo) including a tackle for a loss in his career debut against Michigan … tallied three tackles (solo, two assists) against Michigan State … helped hold the Spartan passing attack to under 150 yards … had a great outing vs. Purdue by recording five tackles (all solo), breaking up a pass, and intercepting a Curtis Painter pass and returning it 47 yards for the first score of the day … the interception against the Boilermakers was the first of his career and he became only the fifth Irish freshman to ever return an interception for a touchdown … saw an increased roll in the secondary against Stanford and recorded a solo tackle in the victory … recorded two tackles (both solo) vs. North Carolina … featured in the defensive back- field rotation against Washington and tallied two tackles (solo; assist) and broke up a pass while helping hold the Huskies to just 98 passing yards … continued to see increased action in the secondary vs. Pittsburgh, mak- ing two tackles (both assists) … helped limit the Boston College passing attack to less than 100 yards passing and below 50-percent completion percentage … made his first career start and turned in an all-around im- pressive defensive performance against Navy, registering two tackles (solo;assist), a tackle for loss and a pass break-up … made his second career start vs. Syracuse and amassed three tackles (all solo) while helping hold the Orange to just 147 passing yards … started his third consecutive game against USC and tallied a career-high seven tackles (all solo), a tackle for loss and added his second interception of the season … totaled four tackles in season finale against Hawai[apos]i … logged 170:24 of playing time with 63 special teams appearances.
HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: Selected for U.S. Army All- American Bowl in San Antonio where he played both cornerback and safety … one of 11 players from state of North Carolina selected to All- Southern team by Orlando Sentinel … named to Super Southern 100 by Atlanta Journal-Constitution as one of 10 cornerbacks … rated 92nd nation- ally by CSTV/Tom Lemming and 13th among defensive backs … considered by Rivals.com the top cover safety in nation, 22nd-best safety in country and seventh-best prospect in North Carolina … rated by Scout.com as 15th-best cornerback in country and third-best player in North Carolina … named first-team all-state in 2006 and 2007 by North Carolina Associ- ated Press and by Charlotte Observer … named 2007 Defensive Player of the Year by Charlotte Observer … played in North-South Carolina Shrine Bowl … tallied 94 tackles, five interceptions and six blocked kicks in 2007 as senior … also gained 252 yards on 16 receptions … helped the Bull- dogs reach second round of Class 4AA playoffs … as a junior, totaled 147 tackles, 12 pass breakups and seven interceptions in 15 games … caught four passes for 86 yards as a junior … named second-team all-state as a sophomore after recording 126 tackles, six interceptions, 10 pass breakups, forced six fumbles and blocked six kicks … recognized as Carolina Panthers Community Captain for his outstanding performance in classroom and in community … member of Butler honor roll and a first lieutenant in Butler[apos]s JROTC program … received JROTC Scholastic Award … served as a coach for an 11-12-year-old football team at Youth Football Club of Mint Hill … spokesperson for Butler High[apos]s D.R.E.A.M. Team (Daring to Role-model Excellence as Athletic Mentors) and was one of only 12 hand-selected members … recognized at Carolina Panthers vs. Seattle Seahawks game for being recognized as a Panthers Community Captain … one of five final- ists for Glenn Davis Award, a national award based on community service, academics and athletic accomplishment, and presented at U.S. Army All- American Bowl … participated in basketball and track … ran hurdles and was jumper on track team, surpassing 21 feet in long jump and clearing 6-7 in high jump … played for coach Mike Newsome … born Sept. 7, 1989 in Clackamas, Oregon … son of Kathrine Edwards … enrolled in Mendoza College of Business and majoring in finance.
Blanton[apos]s Career Statistics