Interview: Vanderbilt commit T.J. Greenstone

Defensive tackle T.J. Greenstone recenly became Vanderbilt's seventh commit. VandyMania talked with Greenstone and found out more about his road to being a Commodore and the strengths of his game.

VandyMania: What are the strengths of your game; what makes you a great player?
T.J. Greenstone: I'd have to say my footwork and my smarts. I run the shuttle in 4.4 and I'm have real good lateral movement. I get extension real good on the lines. Smarts wise I do a lot of film studying already in high school and I mean that kind of stuff give you an extra edge compared to other people and just really puts you ahead. My feet and my brains are the two strengths of my game.

VM: What is your forty time, bench press and squat bests?
TJG: The best forty time I've ran is a 4.93. I bench 325 and squat 445.

VM: What NFL or college player do you feel you are similar to in style of play?
TJG: My favorite defensive tackle is La'Roi Glover. I'm a Cowboy guy.

VM: What honors did you receive during your junior season?
TJG: After my junior season I got Defensive Player of the Year for my team, Second Team All-County, and I led my team in tackles with one hundred and seven. I set the school record for 31 quarterback hurries. I led my team in sacks with seven. I also just recently broke the power clean record at 300 pounds.

VM: Which school is was recruiting you the hardest?
TJG: Vanderbilt was.

VM: What other schools were recruiting you?
TJG: Mainly North Carolina and Ole Miss.

VM: What other offers did you have in addition to Vanderbilt?
TJG: I had some smaller division 1-AA offers. I had Furman, Chattanooga, and Jacksonville State. That was about it.

VM: What do you like about Vanderbilt?
TJG: My main thing was Coach Logo. He just wowed me and impressed me a lot when I came up for the visit and while I was there for camp. He just knew so much and taught me so much just while I was there. I know if I go there I can become a heck of a lot better player. The main thing was Coach Logo but there was nothing negative about it. I mean you've got the academics there and Vanderbilt pretty much sets you up for life after you graduate and then the campus is beautiful; not to big, not to small. There's plenty of people to get to know. Nashville's a great city; there's a lot of opportunity there while you're in college and after you get out.

VM: What were the Vanderbilt coaches telling you about how you'd be utilized at Vandy?
TJG: They said they are going to just keep me a defensive tackle. I'm only sixteen still. I don't turn seventeen until September 27 so that leaves the possibility of maybe red shirt just to give me some time to grow but they said they are not very deep at defensive tackle right now and that they are starting to recruit smaller but a lot quicker guys. Coach Logo said you can't block what you can't catch. They were really recruiting me hard as a defensive tackle and it all started at spring practice when their coach was down looking at another player of ours and I just stood out in a few drills.

VM: Who was the other player they were checking out?
TJG: T.J. Hurless, he's a big offensive lineman. He's about 6-4, 300 pounds.

VM: What did the Vanderbilt coaches say when you told them you were committing to Vanderbilt?
TJG: They were just real happy, real excited. Coach Johnson was real happy and Coach Logo was really relieved because he didn't have to worry about anything. He's just happy that I'm coming. Coach Johnson asked me if I was one hundred percent sure and I said yes. Just went over the basics. It's a $40,000 scholarship so it's pretty good.

VM: So were you visiting down there or did you call when you committed?
TJG: I visited down there last Thursday. I love the campus they tried to get me to commit as I was there. But I wanted a week or the weekend to really go over some stuff with my family. So I came home and went out to the lake with a few of my friends. Just relaxed and thought it over. Then I ended up committing over the phone Monday.

VM: How is your high school team looking for the upcoming season?
TJG: We're looking real good. We've got 10 of 11 coming back on defense, our whole front seven will be back. We should be pretty nasty. On offense we're coming along. We lost a big running back last year Rock Robinson but we replaced him with a few good, worthy guys. Our lines coming along real good. I'll be playing on offensive line too. So we're looking good. We just started practice on Wednesday.

VM: Any idea what you want to major in at Vanderbilt?
TJG: I've decided I'm going go with physical therapy. I'll be going to the Peabody School at Vanderbilt. I'm not sure, I don't think they have my major so I'll get my degree from Vandy and then go to graduate school somewhere. We're still trying to figure that whole thing out. Top Stories