VandyMania.com spoke to Hekili Keliiliki on when he stands with National Signing Day quickly approaching.
"Lately, I've been hearing from a couple of the Vanderbilt coaches," Keliiliki said. "I've been speaking with Tyler Barnes, primarily, and also Coach (Frank) Maile. As it stands now they're full on scholarships, but want me to come in and pay my own way freshman year, then go on full scholarship after that.
"It's an intriguing opportunity. I'm very intrigued with the notion of getting the chance to play in the SEC conference. I'm also interested in the academics. The schools that I'm most attracted to, like Stanford and the schools of the Ivy League, are all known for their high academics. Vanderbilt fits into that same category, but with very high athletics to go with it. That's intriguing to me. My teammate, Ean Pfeifer, who committed there, has told me a lot of good things about the Vanderbilt coaches, the campus. That's it a really good place to be.
"I'm being recruited at running back. (Vanderbilt) likes that I'm a bigger back and more of a downhill runner. They like my versatility and see me as an all-around back who can be in on every play.
"First thing they want me to do is get in the school. Once I find out if I got in the school, then I'll set something up to get out there to visit."
Originally from Utah, Keliiliki moved to Arkansas with his family the summer before his sophomore year. He became a varsity starter as a junior at running back, but was asked to fill in at defensive end this year.
"I was actually going to play outside linebacker," he said. "The starter at defensive end went down early on and they moved me over. It was hard at first, but the more the season went on the more comfortable I became and ended up making All-State and All-Conference.
"My future is at running back. I'm a bit undersized at defensive end at D-1, but I'd make a suitable running back. I can run between the tackles or make plays in space. My high-end speed may not be the best out there, but I can make catches out of the backfield, block in pass protection. I'm not just a situational back, I feel like I can do it all.
"I'm hoping to go (to a college) where I can make a quick impact. I don't want to wait a huge amount of time to actually get on the field. I'll be looking mostly at the long run. I want to earn a degree that I can fall back on after football is over. Most of all, I want to go where to a place where I feel like I'm wanted and feel comfortable with the players and coaches."
Keliiliki will make a January visit to Dartmouth, but is unsure on visits to Penn and Columbia, but will likely schedule something with Stanford prior to Signing Day.
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