Georgia kicker picks Vandy

The Vanderbilt staff picked up its 23rd commit on Sunday when punter/kicker Brett Upson of Spalding High School in Georgia committed. VandyMania spoke with Upson about how his visit went and possible scenarios for his playing at Vanderbilt.

VandyMania: What did you like about Vanderbilt?

Brett Upson: Just the guys, the atmosphere. You really can't go wrong with that. Mackenzi Adams took me around on my official.  He was my official host. He just showed me Vanderbilt and I really enjoyed it and felt like that was a good fit for me.
VandyMania: How did your visit go?
Brett Upson: They took me around. Talked to some in the Peabody school of Human and Organizational Development, which I want to major in. Talked with some people about that. Really, you can't go wrong with a Vanderbilt degree. They showed me Nashville and showed me the campus. I fell in love with it. I met a bunch of guys with the football team. They are just like me, I fit in well with them.
VandyMania: How did the offer come about?
Brett Upson: I went up there not knowing if I was going to get a scholarship or not, because they didn't know if one was going to open up. I got there and had a great time on my visit. Everything went well. Got in the office this morning and wasn't really expecting to get a scholarship and Coach Johnson offered me in his office and I took it. I was surprised.
VandyMania: What other schools offered you?
Brett Upson: Bowling Green, Akron, Nevada, Rice, Navy, Air Force, Ball State, and Memphis all offered me. Ole Miss and Southern Cal were coming on to me but I didn't feel I needed to wait. The opportunity presented itself at Vanderbilt and I took that.
VandyMania: What were your senior statistics?
Brett Upson: My senior year I averaged 44.2 yards per punt. I was 9-12 on field goals with the longest of 54. I averaged right around 4 seconds on hang time.
VandyMania: What special training have you had?
Brett Upson: Coach Ray Pelfrey out in Reno, Nevada trains me. I go out there about once every three months to train." Pelfrey punted for the Green Bay Packers back in the 60s and has a Super Bowl ring.  Brett also received coaching from Dolphins great, Ray Guy for two years.
VandyMania: How will you fit into Vanderbilt's kicking/punting situation?
Brett Upson: I actually hung out with Hahnfeldt the whole time I was there. I'm going to be strictly a punter and if Hahnfeldt isn't ready yet he said something about me taking the kicking duties until he is able to do all of it without hurting himself again.
VandyMania: Hahnfeldt was a key tackler on punting teams last year. How is your tackling?
Brett Upson: [laughs] "I had 6 tackles."
VandyMania: What are your thoughts on playing college ball?
Brett Upson: Coach Johnson left it with me like this: I need to be ready to play against Michigan on September 2nd. That feels pretty amazing, especially being on ESPN the first game." Upson is used to playing before 1,000 people at Spalding High School games.   The Michigan game will likely be before 110,000 and millions in the television viewing audience.
Second defection to Vanderbilt?

Georgia OL/DL commit Greg Billinger, a three star prospect, was scheduled to visit Vanderbilt over the weekend and rumors surfaced that Georgia had pulled his offer.  VandyMania asked, Ryan Jordan,'s Georgia Recruiting Expert to comment on the situation.  Jordon told us "If he visited Vanderbilt, Georgia was going to drop him.  His mom desperately wants him at an academic school such as a Duke or a Vanderbilt. She has been steadfast against him going to UGA from the outset.  If he was still talking to Vandy, then I wouldn't have any doubt that they pulled his scholarship offer. They were really getting upset with him and had given him an ultimatum on about the 18th of January." 

Later, VandyMania contacted Billinger's mother and confirmed that Billinger had visited Vanderbilt over the weekend.  VandyMania asked Billinger's mother is he was still committed to Georgia.  His mother replied, "we don't know."  

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