Vanderbilt has shown a lot of interest in many different recruits throughout the 2017 recruiting cycle. However, one prospect that Derek Mason and his staff have always kept their eye on and showed major interest with is 2017 Nashville (TN) OLB Brayden DeVault-Smith.
The 6-foot-3, 202-pounder always had a special place in his heart for the Commodores, but the staff was originally only going to take him as a preferred walk-on offer. Despite that, Smith still kept a heavy interest in his program and decided to take an official visit to Nashville on the weekend of Jan. 20th.
Following his visit to Nashville, the staff really liked what Smith could bring to Derek Mason’s already elite defense. But when the staff started to get a bad feeling on a few targets and longtime OLB Nico bolden decommitted from Vanderbilt, a spot opened up for Smith. As a result, he got an offer from Vanderbilt on Tuesday.
“Tuesday night coach Mason called me and told me,” Smith told VandyMania. “I felt blessed when I got an offer, nothing less than blessed. I was very excited, it's what I've been working for.
“At Vanderbilt you get a top-notch education, SEC football, and a place that feels like home. Vanderbilt is the school I wanted to be at and there was no way I was going to pass up on this opportunity.”
Smith has always been a hometown kid to the city of Nashville. So when the coach Mason called him and let him know they wanted to offer him a full-ride scholarship. His reaction was an immediate and easy one for Smith as he decided to commit to the Commodores right on the spot.
“You get the opportunity to represent your city in front of your city. It's a great feeling knowing I'll have a community behind me. It's a great program. It's a hungry program and a program on the rise fast that I can't wait to be a part of. I didn't really expect it, so I was surprised. All I could think about was being a Commodore. I was just super excited and I committed right on the spot.”
Even though Vanderbilt being the hometown program for Smith carried a lot of weight within his recruitment. However, his long term relationship with the staff and contact between the two parties was the biggest factor for why committing to the Commodores was so easy.
“My relationship with the coaches was a big factor in me choosing Vanderbilt. I love every coach at Vandy. That's a big part of me going there, our relationships. I talk with Austen Everson, Coach Mason, Coach Odom, and Coach Marve.