Latevius Rayford talks decision
"Basically I let my high school coach know I wanted to commit," said Latevius Rayford. "We talked about it and then called Coach Franklin.
"It was a process because I wrote a speech I wanted to say to Coach Franklin. He was psyched about how good he thought it was and asked if he could get a copy of it."
On Monday Josh Gattis stopped by Memphis Central and was so impressed with what he saw from Rayford he decided to offer on the spot.
"Every day we have a class period where we do drills and sometimes college scouts will be there," Rayford explained. "I did the shuttle in 4-flat [4.0]. After that Coach Gattis said he wasn't even worried about seeing me in one-on-one drills. He was excited and called Coach Franklin. I went home and told my parents and all my relatives. It was a heck-of-a-day."
It was in February when Rayford visited Vanderbilt's campus for a Junior Day. It was there he had the first indication he wanted to become a part of the Commodore football team.
"Coach Franklin escorted us to the Vanderbilt-Kentucky basketball game," said Rayford. "I remember how great the crowd was that night. In a one-on-one meeting he shook my hand and told me how glad he was to be [at Vanderbilt].
"The program just has a great vibe around it. Nashville's a fun city with a lot of things to do.
"I'm looking forward to playing for Coach Gattis. He's a cool dude with a lot of enthusiasm. Both he and Coach Franklin give you a lot of reasons to come and be a part of the program. You get the best of both worlds. It's a school with great academic programs and a great football team to go with it. I'm locked in and ready to go."
Despite his Warriors team finishing 3-7 in 2011, Rayford had an outstanding junior season and was named First Team All-District (Tennessee AAA-16). Rayford was selected as camp MVP at wide receiver at a VTO camp held in Leeds, Ala. in late March.
"I feel like I have the ability to get off the ball quickly and beat my defender," Rayford said on his game. "I use my awareness, hand-eye coordination, and leaping ability to make plays. Last year, I had between 70 and 80 catches for a little over 750 yards and six touchdowns."
Rayford said he's going to focus on track now that a commitment has been made and talk a little Commodore football with teammate Frank Herron, a defensive end Vanderbilt has high interest.
"It's [Herron's] decision, but I'm going to be hyping Vanderbilt to him," said Rayford. "I'll tell him he needs to come be a part of the family."
Rayford holds offers from Western Kentucky, Arizona State, Purdue, and Memphis. In track, he competes in the triple jump, 110 meter hurdles, the 4X2 relay and the high jump, his best event.
Rayford reposts a 4.5 GPA and said he received a 4.67 on his last report card.
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