T.J. Smith says Vandy "has it all"

T.J. Smith began his football career just a year ago at North Stanly High School in the Charlotte area. The 6-foot-3, 260-pound defensive lineman is now attending Colquitt County (Moultrie, Ga) High School where he's enjoyed more recognition (and offers) playing for a nationally ranked team. On Monday night, Smith decided to make a commitment to Vanderbilt after a weekend visit to Nashville.

T.J. Smith Bio

"I called Coach Maile, my position coach, to let him know I was committing to Vanderbilt," Smith told VandyMania.com. "He was pumped. After I spoke to Coach Maile, I ended up talking to most of the defensive coaches who all sounded elated to have me. It was an easy decision for me after going up there and seeing what I needed to see. Vanderbilt has it all. You have the world-class education in the exciting city of Nashville and get to play football in the SEC. You also have fantastic people leading the football program.

"My family and I went for the ODU game on Saturday and it gave me the chance to see the campus. We toured for hours and saw pretty all all of it. It loved the look and feel of the place with all of the nice trees. Then I took a ride through downtown Nashville and thought it was a lively place. People looked like they were having a good time. I just really enjoyed the feel of being there.

"It was ODU so it wasn't really a big game for Vanderbilt, but people were still charged up for it. I went to the star walk and it was good to see people so motivated about Commodore football. It was very good energy leading up to the game, just a great SEC atmosphere.

"It feels good to know my sole focus Packer football at my high school. We ranked number four by USA Today, number three in another national poll, I think MaxPreps has us at 10 or 11. We feel we have a good shot at a national championship, but our goal is to win state. I want to put all of my attention into helping us achieve what we what to this season. I'm still going to be out there grinding. Nothing changes in that regard. I know that I need to continue to take care of business so I'll be successful when I arrive at Vanderbilt next year."

Smith chose Vanderbilt over offers from North Carolina, Wake Forest, Charlotte, UCF, and Georgia Southern. He received the Vanderbilt offer just a few weeks ago from head coach Derek Mason.

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