Vanderbilt offers local star

Rontavius Groves is the latest Nashville junior to have received an offer from the Vanderbilt coaching staff. The exciting 5-foot-11, 160-pound athlete received his first offer from Kentucky after his third game of the season at Pearl-Cohn High School. Tennessee was the next to offer not long afterward. Groves spoke with on the early stages of his recruiting process.

"I've always like the Vanderbilt program," Groves said. "I've watched their games this season and think it's just a matter of them being a young team. They're learning and getting better each week. When I look at the program overall, I think the coaches want the players to be successful both on and off the field. That's something that sits well with me when I'm looking at colleges. It's what I want to see. I've been on Vanderbilt's campus many times. It's a beautiful campus."

In his season season as a starter at Pearl-Cohn, Groves has been electric turning 11 of his 21 receptions into touchdowns with 576 yards. He has handles punt and kickoff return duties for the Firebirds and plays in the secondary.

"When I was talking with Vanderbilt, Coach Marc Lubick said he thought I was an explosive player who could do big things on the offensive side of the ball. Some of the other schools recruiting me like Purdue, Indiana, and Washington State have told me the same things about being a big-time playmaker. Vanderbilt, though, specified they do like me at wide receiver.

"It's still early. I'm most definitely still open, seeing if I'll receive more offers, and which offers will they be. I'm just enjoying the process right now. I've been to Kentucky, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt to see their campuses. One thing I'm looking at is the majors offered because I'd like to study business. Right now, I think I'd like to be close to home. That could chance but I'm looking at distance. With the team, I'd definitely like to have a shot at early playing time."

Pearl-Cohn has some nice offensive weapons to go with Groves in senior Ke'Shawn Vaughn at running back, junior quarterback Jimmy Ferrell, and junior wide receiver A.J. Morris. The high-powered offense is generating 55.9 points-per-game and has Pearl-Cohn off to a 6-1 start to the season.

"I spent the off-season working with my track coach," he said. "I think I built up my speed a little bit from where I was last year. If I had to say what's different for me this year as opposed to last year is that I'm a more patient player. I'm actually listening to what the coaches are saying and using that in the game more than last year when I just went out there and just played."

Groves has posted some big statistical games this season. In week four against Montgomery Bell Academy, Groves had 192 receiving yards on seven catches and four touchdowns in the first game he played in after receiving his Kentucky offer. Top Stories