Don Yates: I heard you had some big news today.
Andre McDonald: Yeah, I finally came to my decision and verbally committed to Vanderbilt
DY: Congratulations! When did you make that decision?
AM: Actually, I did today around like 6:30 (pm).
DY: Have you talked to the Vanderbilt coaches yet?
AM: Yeah, I did. I called them right away.
DY: Which coaches did you talk to?
AM: Actually, I talked to Coach Beatty first and then Coach Franklin.
DY: How did they react when you told them you were committing?
AM: They were very excited; I could hear them in the background clapping and yelling. I guess they were pretty excited about it.
DY: How do your parents feel about it?
AM: My aunt she's really happy about it. She thinks it's the best decision I made; the best decision for me.
She really likes the school, the town and the coaches.
DY: What are some of the things you like about Vanderbilt? I know you visited for the UConn game, right?
AM: Yeah. I really like the academics; the academics are great. I'm looking forward to going to school there for four years and getting my degree and setting myself up for a successful life. I really liked the way the coaches treat their players as their kids. Coach said he has 100 something sons and two daughters.
DY: [laughs] How about that. What did you think about that game on Saturday?
AM: The game was great. I liked how the guys fought back after they came down and really got brought down a little bit. I thought they did a great job fighting back and staying together.
DY: There was a lot of big plays in that game, wasn't there?
AM: Yeah, there was a lot of big plays, a lot of game changers... I like it. I really like it. I like Coach Franklin's energy.
DY: What are some of the things you think makes you a great player?
AM: Well, I like to work hard, I love to work hard. I'll do anything to get that much better. I put in the extra work. I give effort all the time. I like to block; for not many receivers you don't hear that. I like downfield blocking a lot.
DY: What were some of your stats from last year?
AM: I had 64 catches. I had 1,144 yards and 19 touchdowns.
DY: Impressive. Did you get any All-State or All-District honors?
AM: I got All-Conference, All-Metro, All-State and I'm actually now an All-American.
DY: What schools offered you?
AM: Michigan State, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio State, Illinois, Iowa State and Arizona.
DY: Surely some smaller schools must have offered you.
AM: No, I committed early to Minnesota and a lot of schools backed off recruiting me.
DY: How long have you been talking to Vanderbilt?
AM: Actually for a while. I started off talking to a player that they have currently, Joshua Grady, started recruiting me like a couple months ago and then I've been on and off talking to Coach Beatty and Coach Franklin.
DY: When did you decide for sure that you wanted to commit to Vanderbilt?
AM: I decided to myself when I was there but my aunt wanted to come home and discuss it and everything. I decided personally when I was there but I didn't let the coaches know there.
DY: Any idea what you are going to major in yet?
AM: The thing that really drew me in is I want to major in Education and they're the best.
DY: How are you doing so far in your senior season?
AM: We are 1-1; we lost a game in overtime last Friday. It was a nail biter. We were actually down 20-13 with a minute left and I broke a 70-yard touchdown to tie it up and then we went into overtime and lost.
DY: That's too bad. How many catches do you have so far?
AM: I think I have like 10 or 11.
DY: Are you going to come back and visit Vanderbilt some time?
AM: I think I'll make it down again before I come down become part of the team. I definitely want to make it down for another game.
DY: What is something about you that you think Vanderbilt fans would be interested to know?
AM: I was talking to the coach about stuff they do off the field. They were telling me how they are really close with the hospital and how they go over and do things with the kids. That's something that I really like to do. Like here, I do a lot with the youth and the younger kids in our program. I really like to spend time with the kids.
DY: What kind of things do you do with the kids?
AM: I'll play football with them; I'll read to them, I'll like do artwork with them like arts and crafts things. I just like to be around them because I didn't really have that role model when I was a kid.
DY: Do you do any other sports?
AM: I play basketball here at Hopkins High School. We are actually ranked in the top 20 in the country. Our coach just got National Coach of the Year this last season.
DY: How many points do you score a game?
AM: Well, I'm a defensive player. I don't score much. I play defense. I'm the only football player on the team so I play more physical than everyone else.
DY: What position do you play?
AM: I play shooting guard and small forward.
DY: Any other sports?
AM: I'm playing baseball this year but I haven't played since the ninth grade. I'm a pitcher.
DY: Vanderbilt has a baseball team. You could probably do both sports.
AM: [laughs] That would be insane.
DY: What's your 40 speed?
AM: I ran a 4.47.
DY: How much do you weigh?
AM: 210 pounds.
DY: How tall are you?
DY: Anything else Commodore fans would want to know about you?
AM: I don't know. I'm just going to come in and help change the program.
INTERVIEW: Andre McDonald
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