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Thread: Jordan Blanton Pulls His Commitment From Iowa

  1. #1

    Default Jordan Blanton Pulls His Commitment From Iowa

    Prep Zone: Wrestler likely will sign with Illinois

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    Richmond-Burton senior wrestler Jordan Blanton experienced four whirlwind days from Thursday through Sunday.

    It all started with a phone call Blanton?s mother received Thursday morning from Iowa head wrestling coach Tom Brands. It ended Sunday with Illinois coach Mark Johnson visiting the Blantons? home for 2 hours Sunday afternoon.

    Blanton, who committed to Iowa in May, withdrew his commitment over the weekend and probably will sign with Illinois sometime next week. He plans to visit Champaign this weekend with his parents (Jack and Stacey), at which point he could make his commitment to the Fighting Illini official.

    ?I can?t believe how it happened,? said Blanton, R-B?s 171-pounder who owns a 111-1 career record and won two Class A state championships.

    Blanton said Brands called Thursday to tell the Blantons that Jordan?s scholarship, originally a full ride, would be cut for his freshman year to 60 percent. For his final three years, it would be a full scholarship.

    Blanton said Iowa was trying to find money for an All-American who was granted another red-shirt season.

    ?It didn?t sit well with me,? Blanton said. ?They were changing things around before I even set foot on campus. I felt like I wasn?t that big of a deal. They wanted an answer Thursday night.?

    So Blanton?s answer was, ?No thanks.? He decommitted, becoming a free agent less than a week before the NCAA signing period, which starts Wednesday.

    Traci Wagner, an assistant in the Iowa sports information department, said the Hawkeyes coaching staff could not comment on an athlete until he signed his national letter-of-intent.

    ?I wasn?t as devastated as I thought I?d be,? said Blanton, whose only high school loss was an 8-2 decision to Montini?s Mike Benefiel in last year?s Class AA 171-pound state championship match. ?I prayed a lot about it. I believe everything happens for a reason.?

    It turns out that R-B assistant wrestling coach Tyrone Byrd was a four-time NCAA qualifier when he competed at Illinois. Byrd was in Champaign Saturday and spoke to Johnson. Byrd then informed Blanton that Johnson was very interested and had a scholarship available.

    Blanton stopped short of offering Johnson a hard commitment, although it likely is forthcoming. Blanton plans to visit Champaign this weekend and probably would bring his letter-of-intent home so he could sign it at the high school.

    Cwynar a finalist: Marian Central senior Sean Cwynar has been selected as one of three finalists for the inaugural IHSA/ Football Player of the Year. Cwynar (6-foot-4, 285 pounds) plays offensive tackle and defensive end and was a Northwest Herald All-Area first team selection last season.

    Cwynar, who committed to Notre Dame in March, has helped the Hurricanes (10-2) back to the IHSA Class 5A playoff semifinals for the second consecutive season. Marian plays at Morris (10-2) at 6 p.m. Saturday.

    The other two finalists are Chicago Mount Carmel linebacker Steve Filer and Montini two-way lineman Garrett Goebel. Filer will play with Cwynar at Notre Dame, Goebel committed to Ohio State.

    ?I?m excited [about the honor], but mostly I?m excited about this week of practice and, hopefully, next week of practice,? Cwynar said. ?I?m just enjoying this with my friends and everything.?

    The winner will be announced on Saturday, Nov. 24 at Illinois? Memorial Stadium, the site of the state championship games.

    Casts away: Three Marian players ? Jack Gilleland, Brett Leahy and Kevin Green ? all had casts removed from their hands Monday.

    Rumors were uncomfirmed that Marian?s training staff may put one back on Leahy?s hand for Saturday?s game since he grabbed a team-high two interceptions while wearing the cast.

    ? Joe Stevenson covers high school sports for the Northwest Herald. He can be reached at 815-526-4513. He also can be reached by fax at 815-459-5640 or by e-mail at
    "Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until they speak."

  2. #2

    Default Re: Joey Blanton Pulls His Commitment From Iowa

    that can't be good...and what's this news about Tsirtsis taking a redshirt?
    "Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until they speak."

  3. #3

    Default Re: Joey Blanton Pulls His Commitment From Iowa


  4. #4

    Default Re: Joey Blanton Pulls His Commitment From Iowa

    sounds like Brands and Co. asked him to take a partial for 2008-2009 after promising him a full ride for four years. i bet they wish they could have that one back.
    "Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until they speak."

  5. #5

    Default Re: Jordan Blanton Pulls His Commitment From Iowa

    So, instead of taking the 60% for 1 year, and getting to wrestle at a program who can make you a better wrestler, he is going to Illinois, a program with a track record of taking good wrestlers and having them peak at the Big Ten tourney (Mike Poeta and maybe Jimmy Kennedy notwithstanding.) Smart move. Also, way to put it out in the media!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Jordan Blanton Pulls His Commitment From Iowa

    I don't know that Brands was offering anyone a full ride there freshman year. He has stated that guys can earn a full ride but they won't be giving those out anymore. So, I don't know how Blanton got a full ride to begin with. That being said I am disappointed. I'm sure it was due to the fact that Tristsis will now be around for an extra year. Now they are scrambling to make all these scholarships work. I am guessing Alex is still getting a good chunk of money.
    RIP Jacob Schlottke; KR1963 and rpayton

  7. #7
    Related To Gage Trusty's Avatar
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    Apr 2007

    Default Re: Jordan Blanton Pulls His Commitment From Iowa

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiltz View Post
    I don't know that Brands was offering anyone a full ride there freshman year.
    I have to agree with you Wiltz, no way in hell Brands offered a full ride to this kid. I think he may of had a change of mind (which he has the right to) and simply opted out.

    I should clear this up...I'm saying he used the reduction offer from Brands as his out.
    Last edited by Trusty; 11-13-2007 at 01:01 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Jordan Blanton Pulls His Commitment From Iowa

    Seems like both sides just did what they had to do. Brands is trying to keep Tsirtsis around for another year, so he looked to dock whatever offer he had extended to Blanton a little bit, Blanton in turn looks like he's taking a better offer.

    I can't particularly blame Blanton myself, he verballed to Iowa six months ago, and Brands calls him wanting to change up whatever they agreed to a week before he officially commits. Probably felt a little ambushed.
    RIP Jacob Schlottke - 1984-2011

    "If Cornell finishes ahead of Iowa with five all americans I'll jump into the Des Moines River after finals." -Herkey#1 8/16/12

  9. #9

    Default Re: Jordan Blanton Pulls His Commitment From Iowa

    I'm not wise in the ways of big-time college recruiting (as "big-time" as college wrestling is compared to football or basketball), so realize that as you read my comments...

    > Is it possible that we had a Cool Hand Luke moment here -- a "failure to communicate" where a coach was doing his best selling job, promising what he can to attract the kid... coupled with a kid with an impressive mat resume and stars in his eyes, thinking, "Wow, I'm good enough to get a full ride at one of THE top programs!"

    > Could a coach -- any coach -- ever make a verbal promise of a full-ride to a kid in the initial "courtship" phase but then have to possibly rescind it because of changing conditions on his team... and not be accused of reneging or "bait and switch" or outright lying? Is it literally "anything goes" until it's all in writing?

    > Is it possible that Mr Blanton has extenuating circumstances that have changed his situation -- his girlfriend decided she's going to the school in Urbana-Champaign, not Iowa City (or substitute "best buddies"), he found out that Illinois is stronger for his intended major than Iowa, he thinks blue and orange is more flattering than basic black, etc.?

    If I'm totally off-base with my questions, be gentle. ;-)


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