Ohio sack specialist talks about VU commitment

Brandon Bryant, a linebacker from Cincinnati-St. Xavier High School, is Vanderbilt's 15th verbal commitment for 2005. VandyMania finally got hold of the 6-1, 220-pounder for his comments.

Brandon Bryant, a linebacker from Cincinnati-St. Xavier High School, is Vanderbilt's 15th verbal commitment for 2005. VandyMania finally got hold of the 6-1, 220-pounder for his comments.

"[Vanderbilt] is an outstanding academic institution, and that was the majority of my decision," said Bryant, who also had offers from Cincinnati, Indiana, Bowling Green, Akron, Ball State, Ohio, and Miami (Ohio). West Virginia was showing interest.

Along with several other prospects, Bryant made his official visit the first weekend in December.

"I was very impressed," he said, "from the facilities, to the coaching staff, to the friendliness of the players. It gave me a great feeling, a feeling of being at home.

"Vanderbilt has been in the picture with me for quite a while now. Recruiting really heated up for me close to the end of the season. I started talking with Coach Fowler [defensive coordinator Bruce Fowler], and they got me down there for a visit. I was completely sold."

Bryant has been consistently clocked at 4.6 in the 40. He started the season at middle linebacker for Coach Steve Specht's Bombers, but injuries forced him to move to the outside. He says he's comfortable playing either. His 19 sacks (including assisted sacks) set a new school record.

"I did all right," the sack specialist says sheepishly.

"I can play the Mike, Sam, or the Will," (referring to the three linebacker positions). On offense, he also played sparingly at fullback. As a linebacker he earned first-team All-Greater Catholic League honors, as well as first-team all-district and second-team all-state honors in Division I. A three-sport star with 4.6 speed in the 40, Bryant also represents St. X on the basketball court and in track.

Relieved to have his decision finally behind him, Bryant said he is now anxious to get going on the next season. After signing scholarship papers on Feb. 2, will likely report to Vanderbilt early for summer sessions in July.

"It's just kind of a feeling you get, when you know a school is right for you," he said. "You can't really explain it. But when you know it's right, you should accept it, and that's pretty much what I did."

Bryant has also scanned down the list of names of the high school players that will be signing with him in February, a couple of whom he met on his December official visit. And he's impressed.

"This next recruiting class is showing a lot of promise."


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