Is Dallas Rivers solid with Vandy?

Although he had close to 20 D-1 offers from BCS programs like Nebraska, Arizona, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia, Dallas Rivers of Stone Mountain, Ga., chose to end his recruitment and give a rising Vanderbilt program his pledge. Rivers spoke to VandyMania.com on his decision.

Although he had close to 20 D-1 offers from BCS programs like Nebraska, Arizona, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia, Dallas Rivers of Stone Mountain, Ga., chose to end his recruitment and give a rising Vanderbilt program his pledge. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound running back from Stephenson High School saw what he need to see after making a second visit to the Nashville campus for a Junior Day "Super Saturday" event. Rivers spoke to VandyMania.com on his decision.

"What I saw going on [at Vanderbilt] was special," said Rivers. "I love the direction the program is going in under Coach Franklin. I felt a positive vibe both times I've been up there and feel confident in making a commitment to play there. It's a program on the rise and I think it's just going to keep getting better. They're record keeps improving and I believe it's just the start of things to come. At Vanderbilt, you get a top-notch education and play in what's regarded as the best conference in the nation. As a student-athlete, you're really getting the best of both worlds."

Rivers played at Tucker High School in the Atlanta area rushing for 1,110 yards on 613 carries with 14 touchdowns in 2012 for a 10-3 Tigers team in his second year as a varsity starter. After the season, he was named All-DeKalb County and All-Region in Georgia 6/AAAAA. Rivers also was used in situations at linebacker and played well with 30 tackles and bringing a linebacker's mentality to the running back position.

"I don't shy away from contact," Rivers stated. "I'm a physical back with speed to outrun the defenders. My versatility has allowed me to play on both sides of the ball. Next year [at Stephenson] I know I can't rest of what I've done at Tucker. I want to improve in every aspect of my game from blocking to catching the ball out of the backfield to getting faster, quicker, and more agile."

This spring Rivers had taken visit to some of Vanderbilt's top rivals including South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Auburn, and Tennessee. His addition is going to be a huge plus in the Commodore running game. They lost top recruit, Jonathan Ford to Auburn in last year's class in the final stages leading up to Signing Day, but there's good reason to believe Rivers will remain committed to Vanderbilt for the duration.

"I'm solid," he said on his pledge to the Commodores. "I have a great relationship with Coach Franklin and Coach Spencer. They were both overjoyed when I committed. It feels good to have it done and know where I'm going to be for the next four years. My focus won't be on recruiting stuff anymore but my senior season and my grades. It's a big relief. I'm also going to try to help us build this class. My teammate, Jared Tucker, has a [Vanderbilt] offer. I'm going to be talking to him and some other guys about being a part of this class. I'm hoping to get back soon, probably for the spring game in April."
Rivers won't have to bring up his GPA too much. He reports a nifty 3.65 heading into his senior year at his new school, Stephenson. He'll be back on the gridiron soon when he begins spring practice with the Jaguars coached by Ron Gartrell, who has coached the football team since 1996 and is a former nominee of the prestigious Don Shula NFL Coach of the Year Award.


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