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Knights pick up commitment from 3-star Tampa offensive lineman

UCF’s Bounce House Weekend is already paying big recruiting dividends after the Knights received a verbal commitment from 3-star offensive lineman Gavin Blanchard.

The 6-foot-3, 305-pound Blanchard, who transferred from Tampa Jesuit to Wiregrass Ranch High School, is the No. 59-ranked interior offensive lineman in the 2025 recruiting class, according to composite rankings by 247Sports, and the No. 114th-ranked player in the state.

Blanchard was among over two dozen recruits officially visiting UCF this weekend as the program hosted its annual Bounce House Weekend.

“What stood out to me was how much effort they put into it,” Blanchard told the Orlando Sentinel. “That means something, and I just appreciate that they took care of us.”

Blanchard said his decision to commit to UCF was influenced by several factors, including his relationship with offensive line coach Herb Hand.

“I feel like he gives me the best chance to make it to that next level, which is the NFL,” he said. “He’s put so many guys in the league and if I follow his blueprint and stick to what he says, I should have a good shot as anyone to do so.”

Blanchard also credits his family for his commitment to the Knights. He has several cousins who already attend the school and several more interested in enrolling.

His decision to commit early was apparently somewhat of a surprise to the UCF coaching staff.

“Coach Malzahn knew I was considering UCF, but he didn’t know how much I was considering it,” said Blanchard. “He asked me what other OVs I had, and right then, I just told him I canceled all of my other visits, and I wanted to commit; he fainted. It was the funniest thing.

“Coach Hand and Jeris McIntyre [director of high school relations] jumped on me, and coach Malzahn stood up and gave me a big hug, and so did Miss Kristi, his wife.”

His pledge gives UCF 10 commitments for its 2025 recruiting class, which ranks No. 23 in the latest 247Sports composite rankings. Blanchard becomes the sixth player from the Sunshine State and the second offensive lineman in the class.

All verbal commitments are non-binding but can become official during the early signing period in December.

Matt Murschel can be reached at moc.lenitnesodnalro@lehcsrumm

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