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Blanco is Finalist for Lanier Award

Yonis Blanco making a tackle

RICHMOND, Va. - Randolph-Macon senior linebacker Yonis Blanco (Silver Spring, Md./Montgomery Blair) has been named one of three finalists for the Lanier Award for the best college player in the state of Virginia for NCAA Division II/III/NAIA/USCAA by the Touchdown Club of Richmond.

The two other finalists are senior quarterback Hayden Bauserman of Shenandoah and sophomore running back Tabyus Taylor of Virginia Union.

Blanco was All-ODAC First team for the second consecutive year. He led the Yellow Jackets in tackles with 40 solo stops and 60 total tackles. Blanco had 4.5 tackles for loss for minus-26 yards and 1.5 quarterback sacks for minus-13 yards. Blanco had one interception for 20 yards and two pass breakups.

Head coach Pedro Arruza, in his 15th season at R-MC, led the Yellow Jackets to an 8-2 regular-season mark and 6-1 record in ODAC play. R-MC won its 11th ODAC title, tying Emory & Henry for the most championships in the history of the conference. The Yellow Jackets earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship and received a trip to No 8 John Carroll. R-MC won its first NCAA playoff game in program history with a 23-20 victory over the Blue Streaks. The Yellow Jackets would have their season end at No. 23 Muhlenberg in the second round of the NCAA Championship.

Blanco and senior Greg Castle, the state Offensive Lineman of the Year, will be honored at the annual Dudley/Lanier Award Banquet on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at the Hilton Richmond Hotel, 12042 West Broad Street, Richmond. The banquet begins at 7 p.m. following a social at 6 p.m. Tickets are $50 and may be purchased by calling Ron Axselle at 804-310-0222 or emailing