April 26, 2012

Bland sees Black and Gold

Austin Bland did not need much time to realize Wake Forest is a school he could imagine himself attending.

After attending a practice at South Carolina Thursday, April 12 the Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas offensive guard arrived in Winston-Salem Friday, April 13 and stayed through Saturday, April 14 to take in Wake's spring football game and festivities.

"I've been talking with the offensive line coach, Coach [Jonathan] Himebauch for the past month and I finally met him, and the recruiting coach for my school, Coach [Ray] McCartney, I got to meet him too," Bland said. "I got a tour of the school. I was there for two days. Coach Mac showed me around the school. I got to see the weight-room. I got to see the practice fields, the academic center and all that. It was really good. I really enjoyed it."

Bland has not received a scholarship offer from Wake Forest, but he is hoping to get one soon.

"I wouldn't commit right away," Bland said. "I would definitely wait to see what other offers I get. I'm going to make a decision right before my senior season. Coach Himebauch is definitely going to be watching me this year. I hope an offer will come this spring or summer time. That would be awesome."

The 6-foot-3, 275-pounder, who is rated as a three-star recruit and the nation's No. 21 offensive guard by Rivals.com grew up cheering for Florida State. He has not received a scholarship offer from the Seminoles, but believes they have high interest in him.

"My recruiting coach, [FSU assistant] Coach [Eddie] Gran, he called me yesterday to see how I was doing and we talked for a while," Bland said. "I was telling him about the camp this summer and if I do really well I'm really hoping for an offer and if I do then I'm going to commit [to FSU] right before the start of the season."

Cincinnati and Purdue have made scholarships to Bland, while Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, West Virginia and other schools are showing interest.

"I really did enjoy Wake Forest," Bland said. "I think it's going to come down to maybe Wake Forest, Arkansas, Florida State and two other schools, Florida and someone like that. I loved what I saw at Wake Forest."

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