Ashabranner looking ahead to VU days

It was a disappointing senior season for 6-foot-2, 265-pound defensive line prospect Robert Ashabranner. His team at Beaumont (Tex.) Cathedral Christian finished 3-6 and missed out on postseason play. Ashabranner, who committed to Vanderbilt back in May, talked with VandyMania recently in order to catch Commodore fans up on his season.

"It was a struggle this season," he said. "We didn't play as good as we wanted to. We had a big graduating class last year and came in with a young team. It was a disappointment to me as a senior. I didn't want to lose that many games, but we still came out and did good in District. It was still good."

Ashabranner, a big man with uncanny mobility, even saw some time at quarterback this season.

"We had a quarterback who got injured, and Coach said we need a leader to step up and play quarterback. I ended up in that role."

While lots of his fellow high school seniors are freaking out about now over their college options, Ashabranner is chilling out. Six months after the fact, his commitment to Bobby Johnson and the Commodores remains solid. He was able to visit campus unofficially on November 18 for the season finale against Tennessee.

"I'm very happy with that decision," Ashabranner said. "There were some other contenders. Rice, Tulsa and Air Force were all recruiting me pretty heavily. Rice was probably the second-biggest contender. They had offered and everything.

"But I'm still a Vanderbilt guy, and I'm still very happy with that decision."

National signing day is February 7, 2007. To see a complete list of Vanderbilt's commitments, click here.


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