"Vanderbilt is very interested in me," Westlake OLB/S prospect, Chris Tavarez, told VandyMania in a recent interview. "Coach Desmond Kitchings and Coach Jamie Bryant from the coaching staff came by the school to check me. And they said they'll be back to check on me first thing this spring."
"They want to see me workout at strong safety a little bit," Tavarez continued. "Basically I play OLB for my high school, so they want to check out my back peddle, and my hips a little more. And if they like what they see, an offer should come. So it's looking pretty good."
An offer from Vanderbilt would certainly add a little more weight to Tavarez's list, which currently consists of Duke, Tulane, and Harvard. However, several other schools have been keeping close tabs on the Peach State product, and may be close to extending the Westlake standout an offer as well.
"Oregon is on me pretty hard too," Tavarez said. "UConn, Maryland, Illinois, Kentucky, Auburn, Virginia Tech, and UCLA have been coming on pretty strong also. Those are the main schools that have been coming after me so far."
Last fall, Tavarez tallied up 131 (60 solo) tackles, 24 TFL, 7.5 sacks, 1 interception, and 1 touchdown. And he has a highlight tape that simply speaks for itself. But like Vanderbilt, several of the schools aforementioned would like to see him workout at the strong safety position a little more this spring. So maybe that probably explains why he has yet to reach double digits in regards to scholarship offers. But the rising senior is certain that once spring practice rolls, his scholarship number will increase.
"Everybody really liked my stats from last season," Tavarez said. "And they were all impressed with my highlight tape. They saw where I was hitting lineman, and sacking the quarterback; stuff like that. They were very impressed that I could play linebacker at 5-10, 192 pounds. So I think once those schools see me workout in person this spring, several more offers will come in."
Should some of the other programs decide to jump aboard with an offer for Tavarez, they will be in some very stiff competition with this particular ACC program… "Duke," the rising senior said. "Duke was on me from the very beginning. I sent my highlight tape to them, and in a matter of a week they were requesting for all of my information. And when I went to their Junior Day, they offered me on the spot."
From the sound of things, the Duke Coaching Staff is going to do everything in their power to make sure Tavarez becomes a part of their program. So the Vanderbilt Coaching Staff may need to break out some of their best moves, in order to land this young man's signature come next February, should they decide to pursue him heavily.
Tavarez plans to take a number of trips this summer in order to get a feel of what each program has to offer. And one of his stops will be in Nashville. "I definitely have a lot of visits in mind," Tavarez said. "I've got to go and visit Tulane and Harvard. And I'll be going back to Duke for sure. And I'll also be visiting Vanderbilt. So yeah, I definitely have a lot of visits coming up. It's going to be a pretty busy summer for me."
Although we still have quite a ways to go before Signing Day 2011, Tavarez already knows what he desires in a program. "What I'm basically looking for in a program is a school that is of course high on football, prestige, and academics; academics first of course," Tavarez shared. "Obviously, I want to go to a school where I can learn, and also a place where I can have fun with my peers. I don't want to go to a place where the main focus is football. In other words, I don't want to go to school where if you don't win or have a winning season, it's basically dead around campus... And also, I want to go to a place that I love; a place where I feel comfortable. I want to go to a place that feels like home."
VandyMania.com will certainly keep you posted on the very latest regarding this exceptional talent out of Wastlake High School. So stay tuned, there is much more to come.
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