Vandy kicker commit a "football player"

Vanderbilt was looking to add a specialist to this year's recruiting class with placekicker extraordinaire, Carey Spear, set to graduate after the 2013 season. They may have found a gem in Tommy Openshaw, a Jacksonville (Fla.) Creekside kicker/punter, gave his verbal to the Commodore staff.

"I went up [to Vanderbilt] for the Florida game and just thought the atmosphere was incredible," said Tommy Openshaw. "Coach Franklin's got it going on. He's turned the culture around. They're 8-4 and headed to a bowl game.

"There's so much I like about Vanderbilt, but especially the academics. I was getting looked at by Harvard, Yale, and Stanford and really wanted to go to a strong academic school. At Vanderbilt you get an Ivy League quality of education and get to play in the SEC."

Creekside High School opened in 2008. Although they've only fielded a handful of varsity football teams, the school has made the playoffs the past two consecutive seasons. Overstreet became the starting kicker and punter in 2010, his sophomore year.

"This year I had five field goals with a long of 47 yards," Openshaw stated. "The longest I've kicked in a game was from 56 yards as a junior. Most of my kickoffs have been out of the endzone. I did pretty well punting the ball. I averaged 45 yards per npunt. My longest was a 68-yard punt and I had eight drop inside the 20."

"Vanderbilt likes to recruit combos. I'm going to major in kicking and minor in punting. Colby Cooke, who's there now, is majoring in punting and minoring in kicking. That way we can help each other out if one of us were to go down."

Openshaw, 6-foot-2, 170-pounds, first landed on Vanderbilt's radar at a summer camp. He received his official offer during his visit for the Florida game in mid-October.

"Coach Franklin said he loved my versatility," Openshaw said. "My head coach stressed to him that I'm a football player and not a soccer player. I get out there and do tackling drills to prepare me for kickoff coverage or field goal fakes. I saw Casey Spear lay a Tennessee player out on special teams and that's the way I like to play."

Openshaw was named First Team All-District (Florida 4/5A) as a senior. An excellent athlete, he also competes in track and field in the 100, 200, and 400 meter dash events and in the triple jump. Openshaw is currently ranked 14th overall academically in his class at Creekside. His goal is to finish in the top 10. Top Stories