In-depth conversation with Dare Odeyingbo

After a conversation with his head football coach, Steven McCarthy, at Cistercian Preparatory School (Irving, Texas), VandyMania.com then spoke to Dare Odeyingbo, the 6-foot-1, 243-pound record-setting running back who will likely play defensive end/outside linebacker at the college level.

"Really it was the academics at Vanderbilt that made me want to choose them over my other offers," Odeyingbo said. "From the football perspective, the coaches there are really energized. They've come in with a lot of enthusiasm, ready to make their mark on the SEC. It seems like the coaches are all excited to prove to everyone that they'll accomplish big things at Vanderbilt. I want to be there to see it and be a part of it.

"With campus, it's a gorgeous place in the middle of Nashville. It's going to be really nice to spend the next four to five years of my life in a place like that. There's so much around campus like restaurants, hospitals, entertainment."

Odeyingbo has the option of working with Frank Maile on the defensive line or Kenwick Thompson at outside linebacker. At either spot, the Commodore coaches believe Odeyingbo can be a disrupting presence on the field.

"The coaches were saying I had the ability to become a big-time pass rusher with my speed," he said. "I can also play back and fit into run gaps with my tackling ability. I don't really care where I end up. I loved both coaches. They are fun to be around, high energy guys, who seemed very excited to be coaching us."

The Derek Mason era didn't get off to the best of beginnings with a 37-7 home loss to Temple. Odeyingbo said he watched the game but believes the Commodores can get things turned around quickly with some fundamental adjustments.

"The biggest problem with that game that I saw was the offense was stifled all night," he explained. "That caused our defense to be out there on the field way more than it should have been. It's hard when you have that many mistakes, that many turnovers, to stay with opposing teams. If we can cut down on that the rest of the way, I think we'll be fine.

"It was like at my high school. We dropped our first game last Friday night, but we're going to get into a better rhythm offensively, into more of an even flow. We just needed some guys to get used to game speed. We'll be better prepared moving forward."

Odeyingbo said it was Coach Mason himself who he called to give his commitment to in August. He chose the Commodores over offers from four Big Ten schools, two schools out of the Big 12, Air Force, and SEC-foe Missouri.

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