July 10, 2008
Vandy gets its man
"A lot of coaches are actually still on vacation, so it was maybe not convient I guess at first," Southerland said humourously. "I tried to call Coach Belin and he's on vacation and didn't have his phone with him. Coach Belin's the one that's really been recruiting me. So I ended calling Coach Cain, who also recruited me and I told him I wanted to commit on Tuesday night. Then yesterday, I called him and then talked to Coach Johnson. I talked him for a little bit and they told me they were happy and I'm happy too.
"You know, I've been wanting to commit, I just didn't really want to rush into things and have just been taking my time. But I've been thinking about it, and it just felt like that's where I want to go. I've been up there twice, and both times I enjoyed it. I just felt comfortable up there and felt like that's where I wanted to go and needed to go."
"Ultimately I think the big thing was the relationship with the coaches. With other schools I had talked to, I was kind of close you know, but nothing like Vanderbilt was with me. They've always been real and up front with me. That was a big thing though. Also how close it is to Atlanta, about three and a half hours, that was big.
"And the program itself, every year that Coach Johnson's been there, it's gotten better and better, so I just want to be a part of that. They're heading in the right direction and it looks like it's going to be fun playing up there."
"I went up there for the game and then I went up there in the spring. I think it was the day before they had their junior day. I believe I had a track meet that Saturday, so I came up a day before I believe. I just toured the campus, checked out the dorms and facilities and stuff and talked to the coaches again. It was fun to have a little one-on-one with the coaches and with Coach Johnson."
Where he's fitting in at...
"I'm not a hundred percent sure but I think more than likely I'll be playing MIKE. I'm playing SAM right now, in high school. I'll definitely be either MIKE or SAM, I don't know, just kind of depends on wherever they need me and how things go."
"Maryland was my only other offer but Central Florida was close and Wake Forest had been talking to me a lot as were UAB and N.C.State."
"My strength I would definitely say is my strongest attribute as well as just tackling and hitting. Like all linebackers would say I guess, we like to hit you know," Southerland said. "I feel I have a real good understanding of the game, a real good field sense. I think have good vision. I think my main weakness would be my overall speed. Coach Belin has come to our spring practice last two years and he's told me that they wanted me but the only thing I needed to improve on was my overall speed. I've been trying to improve on it, but that's the one thing I think I need to improve on."
outlook at GAC...
"We've got Shane Mularky, he's committed to North Carolina, he's going to be a great asset to the team. We've got our quarterback Colton Chappelle, he's doing really good. You know, our senior class, we might have five to six guys that will sign to play college ball, so we've got a good senior class, good leadership and we've got some good juniors coming up. We'll just need a couple of freshmen and sophomores to step up. I think if we do that and we just come together as a team, I feel like we have a great chance to win state. It's still a long ways away but we're working hard right now and just keep it up, we'll have a good chance of winning [state]."
"When I went up there, we talked a little bit about it and they said they had a real good business program. Right now if I had to decide on a major, it'd probably be something like business or maybe sports medicine. Something along those lines may be what I'll do."
"They have like five or six guys on the team from Gwinnett County. I met Tristan Strong once. I just said hey to him, didn't really talk but everyone says he's a good guy so I'll probably try to get to know him. When we were up there, it might have been the NFL day for Vanderbilt and I met Jonathan Goff and Chris Williams. I also got to know some of the current linebackers one day during a position meeting.
"I think I'm going up there next Friday I believe, so hopefully I'll get to meet a couple more guys and start to develop some relationships with my future teammates maybe."
300 pound bench, 500 pound squat.
"During the middle of the year I just concentrated on doing the shot put and I got seventh in state this year. This was actually my first year actually doing shot put, I was really happy with that."
"Just want to get up there to Nashville and just play."
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