Tell still high on Commodores

Vanderbilt faces steep competition in their efforts to pull Marvell Tell, who has been selected as an Army All-American, out of Southern California. Tell, a 6-foot-2, 187-pound free safety/wide receiver out of Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino, Calif., tells that Vanderbilt is one of seven schools he's focusing on in the final stages of his recruiting.

"The trip to Vanderbilt gave me a chance to spend some time with Coach Mason and Coach Maxie," Tell said. "I truly believe that they're going to get things rolling in the right direction in a hurry down at Vanderbilt. With the South Carolina game, we were pressed for time so I didn't get a chance to really explore the campus, but I did get a good vibe from the student body. Everybody was very friendly. I loved the city. I loved the whole area around the campus. We ate at some really nice restaurants while we were there. I love eat.

"Vanderbilt is recruiting me at defensive back and at wide receiver. They said they're looking for smart guys who can lead the defensive, who can be like a quarterback for the defense. They see that in me. Coach Maxie is a very technical guy in his approach. I love that about him. It's a defense that I've been watching and I can really see myself doing well in.

"My father went to Nashville with me. He loved it especially the academic side of the school. The medical programs rank among the top in the country. I want to go into the medical field so that's a big thing I wanted to learn more about on the visit. Overall, it was great. My player-host, Oren Burks, was a nice guy. I loved the coaches. Vanderbilt's definitely one of the last schools I'm focusing in on. I've also taken an official to Oregon. I plan on taking officials to Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame before I make my decision."

Tell also lists UCLA and USC in his last group, but said since they're so close to home, no official visit is necessary.

"In weighing my decision, I'm definitely looking a lot at the academic side of things," explained Tell. "You'll be going to the school for four years so you look at it in other ways than just football, but how you think you'd fit in at the school. I try to see if I feel like that's where I belong. I'm getting recruited mostly for secondary, but if someone likes me of offense, I wouldn't turn them away."

At Crespi, Tell has helped the Celts turn things around from a 4-7 record in 2013. They're off and running to a 6-1 start and are ranked as one of the top schools in the state.

"I've made one interception, quite a few tackles, and scored a touchdown on offense," said Tell. "I've just continued to work on the fundamentals of the game and improved on my speed and strength. It's a good team we have this year. If we stay healthy we can make a good run at state, most definitely."

Tell said he was offered by 21 D-1 programs. He received his Vanderbilt offer in May 2014 from Commodore wide receivers coach Marc Lubick.

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