Coach Shad Smith discusses Robert Ashabranner

VandyMania talked to Cathedral Christian School head coach Shad Smith about Vanderbilt commit Robert Ashabranner. Read on to hear some immpressive comments on Ashabranner.

Robert Ashabranner profile

"He had a great season . . . We had some injuries and we had some situations going here and I needed a quarterback. Rob was a center for us his first two years, he was a right tackle for us last year and he was going to be a right tackle again for us this year on offense. He's a head ups kid and he's very football smart and he's a really good athlete and he throws really well. So what we ended up doing, it was kind of tough because I know he's a great defensive lineman and a great offensive lineman, I had to move him to quarterback because I had nobody else to put there. What teams were doing, we didn't have anybody that could throw, so they were putting 8, 9 or 10 guys on the line of scrimmage and even though we run the spread they weren't even covering our receivers because we couldn't throw to them."

"Rob allowed us to throw the football. In 6 district games he threw for 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns. He did have 12 interceptions but 9 of those were in the first 3 games when he was getting used to things. In the last 3 games he threw for 250, 250 and his last game was for 320.

"He really allowed us to spread the field and we had 7 receivers with catches in our offense. The last game of the season, if we would have won, we had a chance to go to the playoffs. We didn't have that good of a season but there was a lot of parity in our district and we would have created a bunch of ties and we had a chance to go. That was his biggest contribution, of course he played great defense, he was voted by the district coaches as the number one defensive player in the district. He's going to be a first team all-state kid again this year. Rob has always been the kind of kid that whatever we asked him to do he did. He deep snapped for us for four years, he played D-line and O-line and this year actually played quarterback for us."

How did Vanderbilt find him?

"We sent some videos out last spring to about 40 schools in the South. Vanderbilt responded. This year on defense he had 68 tackles, 17 for losses, 6 sacks, 5 caused fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries and block a kick."

"I went with him and his dad when he went on his official visit to Vandy when they played Tennessee. That was a great day, just getting to meet the coaching staff and getting to see the recruitment . . . Seeing Vanderbilt vs. Tennessee and now that I've seen that I know Rob can play at that level. His dad and I were a little nervous about Division I-A and Southeastern Conference but now that we've seen it, yeah, he can do it . . . Coach Bobby Johnson told Rob, 'Don't worry, your quarterbacking days are over!'"

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