California JC tight end set to visit Vandy

Vanderbilt hasn't pursed many junior college athletes historically so when they do it's usually someone special. Brandon Vandenburg, a 6-foot-6, 260-pound tight end from the College of the Desert in California's Coachella Valley, is expecting to make an official visit to Vanderbilt in January. VandyMania.com caught up him for the latest on his recruiting situation.

Vanderbilt hasn't pursed many junior college athletes historically so when they do it's usually someone special. Brandon Vandenburg, a 6-foot-6, 260-pound tight end from the College of the Desert in California's Coachella Valley, is expecting to make an official visit to Vanderbilt in January. VandyMania.com caught up him for the latest on his recruiting situation.

"Vanderbilt likes that I can do a little bit of everything," said Brandon Vandenburg. "In high school, I played wide receiver. My first year of college [at the University of San Diego] I was used primarily in a blocking role. At junior college, I've shown I can do everything. They like that I can stretch the field with my speed, put my hand on the ground and block the power, or line up as an H-back."

"I like that Vanderbilt is definitely a program on the way up. They run a pro-style offense that utilizes the tight end. They told me last year they didn't use the tight end the way they really wanted to because they didn't have that do-it-all type guy. That's why they're interested in me. They believe I can be that guy and come in and contribute right away. I also like the fact Vanderbilt's in the SEC and the quality of the academics. I have my official set up for the 18th of January."

Vandenburg played high school at Xavier College Preparatory School. After a year at San Diego, he decided going back home to Palm Desert to junior college was his best option.

"In all honesty I went to a small Roman Catholic Jesuit high school that's not really on the recruiting map," Vandenburg said. "I had an offer to walk-on at USC or go to San Diego. I started about half of the games as a true freshman [at San Diego]. I shared time with another H-back who was taken by the San Diego Chargers. Some family friends were telling me if I went to junior college I could go to a bigger school, so I transferred last summer and here I am.

"It was a pretty good year. Our team went 4 and 6. I had 360 receiving yards and a few touchdowns and was a unanimous selection for first team All-Conference."

Vanderbilt will have their share of competition for Vandenburg. He said the other schools he's looking at include Arkansas, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Nebraska, and Arizona State.

"The three biggest factors for me in choosing a college are the opportunity to play early, the type of offense they run, and the coaching staff," explained Vandenburg. "I'm going to visit Vanderbilt, but I'm probably going to also visit Tennessee, Nebraska, and Arkansas. Somewhere between that last visit and signing day is when I'll make my decision."

Vandenburg says he doesn't have one recruiting coach for Vanderbilt. He said if it isn't Coach Hand, Coach Bankins, Coach Donovan, or Coach Rahne calling him, then it's usually Coach Franklin. Commodore fans will have to watch with baited breath to see if Vanderburg chooses to play in Black and Gold next season.

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