Pa. lineman finds 'perfect fit' in VU

It took Central Bucks (Pa.) High School East lineman <B>Bradley Vierling</b> all of about 48 hours to become totally sold on Vanderbilt football. The two-way tackle from Warminster, Pa. became the Commodores' seventh commitment Sunday on an official visit. Vierling talks about his decision, and his high school coach provides a thorough scouting report.

It took Central Bucks (Pa.) High School East lineman Bradley Vierling all of about 48 hours to become totally sold on Vanderbilt football. The two-way tackle from Warminster, Pa. became the Commodores' seventh commitment Sunday on an official visit.

"I was leaning to Vanderbilt because of the great academics and the SEC football, but I wasn't sure," Vierling said. "I went down there with an open mind, and when I got down there, every piece of the puzzle just fit together. It was a perfect fit.

"The coaching staff is so positive, and the atmosphere is so friendly. Robbie Caldwell, the offensive line coach, was such a great guy. He wants to take me under his wing and be another father-type figure to you. That's kind of perfect for me, because I'll be away from family and friends. He wants to win and so do I."

Vierling sports a 6-foot-8 wingspan, a bench press of 315 and a squat of 575. He was a district qualifier last year in both discus and shot-put, and played basketball for the school for the last two seasons. Now that his future in football is resolved, however, he decided to drop basketball to focus solely on strength and conditioning this winter.

"They want me to come in at about 290 pounds, so I'm going to be working hard in the weight room for the Vanderbilt Commodores."

Vierling's team struggled through a more difficult year than usual, after its school district was split in the summer and a new high school was started from part of the district. Central Bucks East lost nine seniors to the new school, so Patriots head coach Larry Greene went searching for leaders among the handful of seniors that remained.

He found one in the 6-4, 280-pound Vierling.

"He played offensive tackle for us, and he could flip-flop to either side," marveled Greene, whose team finished 4-6 with a hefty number of juniors playing. "He also played both defensive tackle and defensive end for us."

According to Greene, Vierling's future is on offense. "He moves exceptionally well for a big man. His athleticism, his knowledge... and he's got a little bit of a nastiness in him, which I think helps you on the offensive line. He never, ever stops blocking until that whistle blows. He may miss the man he's supposed to get, but he's going to get somebody in another jersey.

"As college coaches looked at him, they were impressed with his athleticism and his desire. Defensively he was athletic enough that he could play tackle or end for us. He did so based on injuries and based on the opponent we were playing. To be able to play both of those positions tells you something about his athleticism."

Whenever the Patriots needed a big two yards or so, Vierling was the man Greene chose to run behind.

"That's why we flip-flopped him so much," Greene said. "We put him at the point of attack on a lot of plays.

"Not only is he a good student in the classroom, he's a great student of the game. He always wanted to know as much as he could about his opponent, through film study or asking questions of the coaches."

Vanderbilt wide receivers coach Charlie Fisher, who came to Vanderbilt from Temple University in Philadelphia, recruits the Eastern Pennsylvania area for the Commodores. According to Greene, Fisher deserves most of the credit for successfully recruiting the big lineman-- Vandy offered Vierling last spring, and maintained contact through the summer and fall months.

"I've been around this game a long time, and Coach Fisher just did a super job recruiting Bradley," Greene said. "He's excited. He can't wait to get started. He's stopped playing basketball so he can focus on weightlifting and training. He'll get ready for the spring track season as well."

At Vanderbilt, Greene expects Vierling to play center, one of the team's most crucial needs. The Commodores will have a senior starter returning next year in Trey Holloway, but the team lost four centers in the off-season this year due to grades, injuries and an LDS mission.

"Center will be a great fit for him," Greene said. "He does a nice job of getting to the second level with defensive players."

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