Interview: Blake Southerland

He's big, he's tough and he's ready to knock heads for Vanderbilt. VandyMania talked with Vanderbilt's newest commit, Blake Southerland, to find out the scoop on this fine player.

Don Yates: I heard you committed to Vanderbilt recently, is that true?
Blake Southerland: Actually it was Tuesday evening that I committed.

Don: So where were you when you committed?
Blake: I was just at my house and called up coach Cain and committed to him.

Don: What did coach Cain say when you committed?
Blake: He was happy. That's really it in a nutshell, that's what he said and I told him that I was happy too so he just said, "We just want to get you up here."

Don: When are you heading up there?
Blake: I actually think we might go visit next Friday.

Don: What are some of the things that steered you towards Vanderbilt?
Blake: My relationship with the coaches. One thing was just how close it is to home compared to the other schools, and definitely the program and the academics, the best around and the program is definitely on the rise and I just want to be a part of that and I want to play in the SEC.

Don: How long has Vanderbilt been recruiting you? Can you give me a rundown of the story of when you first heard from them and how it progressed?
Blake: They came to spring practice going into my junior year. Not this past spring but last spring. They came up to recruit Christian Robinson and they saw me and liked what they saw. They started talking to me a little bit then and then they invited me up for the Georgia-Vanderbilt game. I was already going out there to watch my brother so I was on the field and coach Johnson pulled me aside and offered me then. That was the big shock but he offered me there before the game, and ever since then I've just been keeping in touch with him and talking a lot to coach Belin and coach Cain,

Don: So how has the Vanderbilt staff told you as far as how they plan on using you at Vanderbilt, I know probably linebacker but what particular linebacker position?
Blake: I'm pretty sure either Mike or Sam linebacker but they haven't told me for sure, but that's probably what I'll play.

Don: So what makes you a great player on the field, what are some of the things that you think attracted Vanderbilt to recruit you?
Blake: I think my leadership, and my toughness and just wanting to hit and get after it. I think I have a good understanding for what is going on and making plays.

Don: So are you going to follow in the footsteps of Jonathan Golf and all them other Vanderbilt linebackers that went to the NFL?
Blake: Yes, I hope so; that would be pretty sweet.

Don: How's your forty speed?
Blake: It's in the 4-8 4-9 legit range.

Don: You're 220?
Blake: Right now I'm weighing actually 230.

Don: 6'2" 230?
Blake: Yes sir.

Don: So how about this other guy that committed to North Carolina on your team? Fellow linebacker?
Blake: Yeah, Shane Mularkey.

Don: So what do you know about him? Pretty good player?
Blake: I've only seen him really just a week in spring practice. But he looked really impressive. He's about the same height as me 210, 215, he's a big kid too. He's got really good feet and he's fast.

Don: So you guys are going to have a good defense this year with two future division I linebackers.
Blake: Yeah I hope so, that's what we plan on.

Don: Who offered you?
Blake: Maryland and Vandy.

Don: Who else was recruiting you?
Blake: UCF, Wake Forest, North Carolina State, Louisville, and South Carolina were all recruiting me pretty good.

Don: Thanks for joining us Blake.
Blake: Thank you sir.

Southerland is the fifth known commit of Vanderbilt's 2009 recruiting class. For a complete list of Vanderbilt's commits click HERE.

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