Monday, February 9, 2009

Did you know Brady Brown could juggle? Meet the Vanderbilt recruits, but forget their 40 times for a moment

Are you tired of hearing how much an 18-year-old kid can squat or bench? How fast he can run the 40? His shuttle times? How many stars he got from some geek watching film online? References to his quick-twitch muscles or his good hips?

Me too. After all that talk and all those stats, there's nothing left to do but wait and see what these kids can do on a real college football field.

In the meantime, let's learn something interesting or unusual about each of Vanderbilt's recruits. You know, who in addition to playing football are also people.

While you can probably stereotype Vanderbilt students, you can't stereotype Vanderbilt students who play football. For example, the fathers of three recruits (Justin Cabbagestalk, Mylon Brown and Warren Norman) are truck drivers.

Here we go:

• BRADY BROWN, 17: One of Brady's hobbies is juggling. He also likes to fish and race go-karts. And study — he's in the National Honor Society. No, he's not from Mayberry and his father is not Sheriff Andy Taylor.

• MYLON BROWN, 17: "Mylo" likes to sing and play the saxophone and drums. He's got four siblings. He's also the youngest of the recruits, turning 18 on July 18.

• JUSTIN CABBAGESTALK, 17: "Cab," a member of Student Government and National Honor Society, wants to major in economics. He likes to swim and hunt, and as a wrestler he once pinned a guy in 11 seconds.

• EDDIE FOSTER, 18: Both of Eddie's parents came to America from Congo. He speaks French — a guy who averages 32 yards a catch should know how to say "Au revoir." His dad is an airline mechanic.

• JAY FULLAM, 18: Though Jay turned down a scholarship to Air Force, he still hasn't given up on his dream of being a fighter jock. His grandfather gave his life serving our nation as a fighter pilot in Vietnam. The oldest recruit, he turns 19 in June.

• CHARLIE GORO, 18: Charlie is known for his leadership — his teammates would say, "We've got Goro." A member of the 2002 national championship Pop Warner team, Charlie enjoys fishing, snow skiing and wakeboarding.

• WESLEY JOHNSON, 18: Wesley is a maniacal weight lifter who also hurled the discus and was a Fellowship of Christian Athletes leader at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville.

• MASON JOHNSTON, 18: A Florida boy, Mason enjoys scuba diving, surfing and skiing. Three of his Bolles School teammates are already at Vanderbilt: Ryan van Rensburg, Michael Garcia and Tray Herndon, the recent transfer from Minnesota.

• THAD MCHANEY, 18: Thad enjoys drawing. He was active in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program in his community and with FCA. He originally committed to Ole Miss. His Dad works for Napa Auto Parts and his mother works for UPS.

• JAVON MARSHALL, 18: Javon had the least amount of personal information, outside of "he likes to hit people on the football field." His dad is a teen mentor and his mom works in hospital human resources.

• WALKER MAY, 18: Walker went to Briarwood Christian in Birmingham, home of the Crimson Tide's Castille Brothers. In the summer, Walker is a lifeguard.

• WARREN NORMAN, 18: Warren was a teammate of his brother, Art, at Chamblee High near Atlanta. He enjoys playing videogames. I imagine he's not the only one of these kids who does, but he cares enough to say he does.

• ERIC SAMUELS, 17: Eric was homecoming king of his high school in Florida, where he was also recognized as a Top Ten student. He's friends with Commodore redshirt receiver Akeem Dunham.

• BLAKE SOUTHERLAND, 18: Blake's another FCA guy. Like a true Georgia boy, he enjoys hunting. He also enjoys coin collecting, which may not be said of any of Tennessee's new recruits.

• ZAC STACY, 17: I know we're not supposed to be talking about numbers, but "Z-Man" scored 35 touchdowns this past season. Oh, and he wants to be an entrepreneur.

• WESLEY TATE, 18: Wesley plays piano and sings in his school's chorus. Naturally, he also likes to play Guitar Hero. Maybe he can join the Guitar Hero program at Blair School of Music.

• TREY WILSON, 18: The son of a math teacher, Trey is on the student council and is a member of the National Honor Society. And he's the latest in the Evangel Christian legacy — every year since 1997, a cornerback from that school has signed to play major college football.

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