Sean Dowling talks Vanderbilt

When a player from the San Diego area commitments to UCLA, one may naturally assume the case is closed with recruiting. The Vanderbilt coaches, however, did not and it paid big dividends in landing Sean Dowling, a 6-foot-6, 270-pound offensive lineman from Fallbrook Union (Calif.) High School. VandyMania.com caught up with Dowling to discuss his plans to enroll at Vanderbilt in January.

When a player from the San Diego area commitments to UCLA, one may naturally assume the case is closed with recruiting. The Vanderbilt coaches, however, did not and it paid big dividends in landing Sean Dowling, a 6-foot-6, 270-pound offensive lineman from Fallbrook Union (Calif.) High School. VandyMania.com caught up with Dowling to discuss his plans to enroll at Vanderbilt University in January.

"I parted ways with UCLA in October," said Sean Dowling. "I bunch of schools contacted me with offers, but I eventually stopped answering the phone because I knew my heart was with Vanderbilt. What hooked me, first of all, was the amazing education. The second thing was the coaching staff who I regard as the best in the nation. There's no doubt in my mind that when I'm there we're going to be competing for SEC championships. There are some people who still don't believe that, but I do."

It was a December 1st official visit to Vanderbilt that sealed the deal with Dowling. With his father, a colonel in the Marines, overseas, Dowling took the trip to Nashville with his mother.

"During the recruiting process my mother was leaning towards Vanderbilt," he said. "She tried to be impartial during the visit, but I felt the same way. We toured the campus. It was beautiful. I got to see the city of Nashville which was nice because I'm a country music type of guy. I had a chance to hang out with the other freshman offensive linemen. We got along great. My player-host was Will Holden.

"Coach Hand didn't tell me specifically what my position will be. I'm versatile. I've played all of the offensive line positions and can snap the ball. He sees me being a tackle and that's kind of where I see myself. We got to hang out in his office and go over film so I could get a better understanding of the offense. I was very impressed with him. He loves his job and shows a great passion for it."

Dowling is ready to join a winning team. His high school team, the Warriors, only won six games during his four years on varsity. They finished 1-9 in 2012 for a second straight season. Dowling has already graduated from Fallbrook Union and is looking forward to being on Vanderbilt's campus in early January.

"I'm big on achieving my goals," explained Dowling. "I know they have a lot of depth on the offensive line, but being a mid-year guy I am going to use the first semester there as a period of adjustment and get ready to compete in the spring. They'll be a lot that's thrust on me quickly when I get there. I just need to take time and get used to school and the workout program. Once I do, my goal is to make a big splash in spring and summer ball."

Dowling will compete in the 2013 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl played on January 4th in Carson, Calif. He plans on going home afterward then heading to Vanderbilt on January 7th.

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