Hoosier lineman talks about Vandy camp experience

Thomas Bemenderfer, a football, wrestling and rugby star from the Hoosier state, made a 430-mile journey to be a part of Vanderbilt's football camp last week. The defensive lineman / tight end prospect, who already holds two firm offers, gave us his impressions of the Vanderbilt camp and updated his favorites.

Thomas Bemenderfer is a three-sport athlete (football, rugby, wrestling) for Penn High School in Mishawaka, Ind. Thus far this summer, he has made visits to Notre Dame, Purdue, Indiana, Miami (Ohio) and Vanderbilt.

We caught up with him shortly after he had made a 430-mile journey to be part of Vanderbilt's camp on June 13.

"I really liked the camp," Bemenderfer said. "They started out doing a lot of testing, and figuring out how people rate speed-wise. They ended the day doing some performance testing. They did the one-on-one drills, offense vs. defense. I always like that, because that's where I shine. That's where I show that I'm a football player, and that I can actually do some damage on the field."

Following the camp, Bemenderfer was called back for some additional time to talk further with the coaching staff.

"They said they have to evaluate me on tape, because they just got my tape yesterday," he said. "They told me I should call them once a week, or at least once every two or three weeks. I can just ask how their recruiting process is going and how I stand in their eyes. But I talked with the offensive coach, and he told Bruce Fowler that I did very well, and that he was impressed. Hopefully he was legitimately impressed, and not just trying to pull my tail."

Currently at a muscular 6-5, 245, Bemenderfer has the frame to pack on plenty more good weight.

"I'd really like to play defense, hopefully defensive tackle," he said. "But I'm a football player. I really just want to play football, hopefully gain about 40 pounds and be a good defensive lineman."

Penn is a 5A school with over 2,800 students. "We always compete at the state level in most sports," he said. "Last year I went down to wrestling and placed third in the state. The year before, as a sophomore, I placed seventh.

"In football last year we were state runners-up, and in rugby we were fourth in the nation. It's a very good school, and we compete."

Miami of Ohio and Illinois gave Bemenderfer his first firm offers. "A lot of other schools have said, we really want you here, and we want you to come to our camp. A lot of schools say that, so hopefully it will lead to something."

Other schools who have shown interest are Duke, Stanford, Michigan and Harvard. Does he have any favorites at this point?

"Vanderbilt would definitely be among my top three. It's really hard, because I've got quite a few schools I'm talking to. But for what I want to do, it's probably Duke, Stanford and Vanderbilt. I'd like to get into pre-med or medicine or pharmacy, something in that field. All three of those are wonderful schools."

Bemenderfer does have one unique tie to Vanderbilt-- his uncle, Neil Bemenderfer, was a reserve player on the F-Troop basketball teams of the mid-1970's.

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