Mitchell Hester taking possible visits

Mitchell Hester out of Jacksonville's Duncan U. Fletcher High School committed to Vanderbilt back in September. He was given a call by the newly appointed Commodore head coach, James Franklin.

"He called me, and we began to build a relationship," Mitchell Hester said. "He told me about his coaching experience at Kansas State and Maryland. He came across to me positive with high energy. I think it was a good move by Vanderbilt to hire him as coach. I'm happy with the decision."

Maryland was one of the teams to offer Hester along with Iowa State, Rutgers, South Florida, Central Florida, and Virginia. There were many "good things" Hester liked at Vanderbilt that made him want to be a Commodore.

"The first thing was my relationship with my recruiting coach, Des Kitchings," Hester said. "I haven't talked to him, and I'm not sure if he's going to still be coaching there. Other things I liked about the program were achieving a degree from a prestigious university like Vanderbilt, getting to play in a big conference like the SEC, and I think I'll have a good opportunity there to get on the field early. Those things are still there with Coach Franklin."

Hester, 5-10, 180, was named to the Super 24 and All-First Coast by The Times Union as a senior. He ran for 1,380 yards and 21 touchdowns for the Fletcher Senators. With a new coaching staff taking over the reigns, Hester has been hearing from other schools hoping to get him on campus for an official visit before signing day.

"I'll probably take a few," said Hester on visits. "I took two unofficial visits to South Florida and Florida. I'm just not sure if I will or not right now. I'm excited about taking my official visit to Vanderbilt January 21st and talking more with Coach Franklin."

Fletcher went 8-3 in 2010 losing in the first round of the playoffs to Fleming Island. Hester says he won't play other sports in the off-season, but train with Ciatrick Fason, a former Fletcher Senator and All-SEC player at Florida.

"I haven't ruled out running track," said Hester, "but I want to work out hard with my trainers and get bigger, stronger, and faster going into my freshman year. My goal is to see the field as a true freshman. I want to develop my game, get out there, turn the heat and become an impact player helping to bring Vandy up."

Hester says Coach Franklin plans to meet with him and his parents for a sit down dinner prior to his official visit. Hester's father, Ron, played for Florida State and professionally with the Miami Dolphins.

Hester wore jersey No. 25 at Fletcher. He reports a GPA of 3.1 in core classes with a 24 scored on the ACT. He'll graduate with his class in May of '11.

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