"It was definitely a great week," Peart said of his time in Southern California. "I stepped it up against some of the top talent in the country. It was good getting a chance to see how I stacked up against that level of competition. All week long I went up against a couple of tackles who are committed to big universities and I won a lot of the battles.
"Kyle Shurmur lit it up. He did his thing out there. The future of Vanderbilt football looks bright with Kyle at quarterback."
In the off-season Vanderbilt has made some coaching changes. Karl Dorrell played a big part in recruiting Peart, as did David Kotulski, but both coaches were let go after the season. Peart, however, hasn't lost faith in Derek Mason's vision. Mason recently announced he would take over defensive play-calling duties, himself, and not hire a defensive coordinator.
"I had known that for awhile," Peart said of Mason's decision. "It wasn't solid but (Mason) said he was considering it. I'm fine with it. I remember how good of a defensive coordinator he was back at Stanford, being known for successful defenses there. I think it will be okay.
"Essentially I was recruited (by Vanderbilt) at inside linebacker. I think I've really progressed as a pass rusher on the outside and wanted to stay there, so I was going to keep looking. After talking things over with Coach (Kenwick) Thompson, I'm going to be at outside linebacker which I think will be picture perfect for me. I'll get to stand up with space to work with or sometimes move up to a three-point stance on the line. It's advantageous to my game and helps to utilize all of my tools."
In his senior season at Hamilton, Peart was a dynamic pass rusher tying the school's sack record set by Qualen Cunningham of Texas A&M. He also set the school record for quarterback hurries. A plethora of post-season accolades poured in for Peart including the Curly Culp Award for the state's best defensive lineman. He's hoping all of the success translates into a big freshman year at Vanderbilt.
"Everybody would be lying to you if they told you they don't want to make the two-deep roster as a freshman," he explained. "I'm no different. The (Vanderbilt) coaches have told me that they want me to come in and compete right away for playing time. If not I'll spend the redshirt year getting bigger and stronger. I know the SEC is a difficult conference to play in, especially as a true freshman, but from now until June I'll be working my butt off to go in and make an immediate impact."
In Peart's final game of his high school career, Hamilton fell in the state championship game to rival, Chandler, 28-7, in a game played at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. He says he's yet to get over the loss, but hopes an official visit to Vanderbilt on January 16th is able to lift his spirits.
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