"One of my favorite things (of the official visit) was just getting to know and connect with the other recruits," said Jared Southers. "On Friday night, we went out to a restaurant in downtown Nashville called the Wildhorse Saloon and it just went from there in having fun with the guys, and the team. My host was Delando Crooks. It was a great experience which led to my commitment this morning.
"I went into the visit with the mindset that if the offer to grayshirt was upgraded, then I would commit. I was and I did. I'll be enrolling at Vanderbilt in June.
Southers selected Vanderbilt over offers from Connecticut, Fordham, Harvard, Massachusetts, Monmouth, Old Dominion, Rutgers, Temple, and Yale, but had been locked in on the possibilities at Vanderbilt for awhile.
"This was my fourth visit to Nashville," he said. "I think this is a very strong recruiting class to be a part of. There's some good talent that's going to be arriving this summer so I feel the future of Vanderbilt football is bright.
"I'm excited to play for Coach (Keven) Lighner. He thinks I have a high ceiling and wants to keep me at offensive tackle which is where I want to be. I think Coach (Andy) Ludwig was a good hire. Absolutely. You look at all he accomplished while he was at Wisconsin and it definitely gets you excited to play in his offense.
"The (commitment) feels like a relief to be honest with you. My recruiting interest began as a sophomore. It had some up and down moments but in the end I found the right place and I'm very happy with my decision."
After missing his junior season due to a foot injury, Southers rebounded strong for the Seton Hall Prep Pirates at left tackle with 83 pancake blocks and was voted second team All-State to re-energize his offer list.
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