The Commodores became the first SEC school to offer John Fitzpatrick but they will certainly not be the last.
The 6'6 athletic pass catcher, who also stars on the defensive line, has become one of the top tight end prospects from the Southern region. Over the past two months, FitzPatrick has received a total of 13 offers with several of those coming from power five conference schools like Iowa State, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Virginia.
Vanderbilt was the first school from the Southeastern Conference to go after FitzPatrick and he feels honored that the Commodores decided to offer. It's an offer he wanted very badly as Vanderbilt is a school that fits his wants and needs in a college experience.
"I can't explain to you how excited I feel about getting this offer from Vanderbilt," he said. "Vanderbilt has been at the top of my list for a long time and to now know that I have a chance to go to college there, it's an unreal feeling, that's how excited I am about it."
"Vanderbilt offers everything I am looking for in a college. Their academics are high level and they compete in the SEC. It's the best college football conference in the country and they are an up and coming program. It's also close to home, which is good and it's a school I have been following, ever since I could remember. They offer an outstanding opportunity at a college life, so the offer from Vanderbilt is something I hold important."
FitzPatrick is a very intriguing prospect. He is a high academic kid who also possesses outstanding talents on the football field. Playing both ways, FitzPatrick is an athletic guy who displays great hands and the ability to become a dangerous target over the middle.
The Vanderbilt coaching staff noticed these abilities, especially Commodores tight end coach Gerry Gdowski.
"I received the offer from Coach Gdowski and he told me that he loved my abilities at tight end and how the rest of the coaching staff signed off on my talents," said FitzPatrick."To know that the entire coaching staff likes me, makes me even more excited and comfortable being around them."
The next step between FitzPatrick and Vanderbilt is to visit. That is expected to take place next month but the Georgia tight end needs to figure out a few details before he settles on an exact date.
"I am definitely visiting and will be doing it very soon," he said. "I think I am going to visit in March. I'm probably going to come up for one of their Junior Days and maybe even another visit as well. I would like to get up there as much as I can, so I can't wait to finalize the visit details and get up there as soon as possible."
It's a long time between now and the start of the 2017 football season, so there will be plenty of opportunities for more college coaches to take notice of FitzPatrick and come through with offers.
Several high profile programs around the country have been in contact with FitzPatrick and will eventually extend offers. Vanderbilt will have to continue their recruitment but for FitzPatrick, regardless of who comes through with offers, the Commodores will remain at the top of the list and could even been considered the leader in the clubhouse.
"I don't want to say right now or even claim to have a leader but Vanderbilt is seriously up there," said FitzPatrick. "Vanderbilt is the one offer I wanted more than anybody else and it doesn't matter what happens throughout my recruitment, they remain a strong contender for me. I can't wait to build my relationship with the Commodores coaching staff and see how things play out."