Brantley quarterback signs with Vanderbilt
By: Shayla Terry
On Wednesday, Brantley High School’s senior quarterback Jacob Free signed his official intent to attend and play for Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
“Today was great,” Free said.
“There was a lot of support from my community. It means a lot to me, being from a small town.”
Free committed early on to Vanderbilt, but did explore all of his options before making the commitment.
“His parents and I sent out videos,” Football Head Coach Ashley Kilcrease said.
“His parents drove to Oklahoma State, been to Tuscaloosa a bunch, to Auburn, Nashville and Louisville. A lot of people don’t realized how much time and money goes into that, but they got a good return on their investment.”
Free says that Vandy was the choice because of this good relationship with the coaching staff there.
“That’s something I really stress a lot,” he said.
“I feel that these coaches really believed in me, and I believed in them. That made me decide that Vanderbilt was the place for me.”
Vanderbilt is a school built on academia as much as athletics. Kilcrease believes that Free is at an advantage being a good scholar as well as a good athlete.
“He’s a very gifted individual,” Kilcrease said.
“He can basically do anything, and has been blessed with a lot of God-given talent. He makes really good grades, and is a good student.”
Being from a small town, Free says he is anxious to see what life in the big city of Nashville will be like.
“I never really lived in a big town,” he said.
“I’m excited to see how that goes, and how I can adjust to that.”
With a lot of preparations put into signing, Free says he is happy to have the process complete, and to have the support of his coach every step of the way.
“It’s been really long, really stressful and really enjoyable,” he said.
“Coach Kilcrease has been right there with me throughout the whole thing. He’s spent countless number of days working out with me, going to colleges with me and putting in phone call after phone call. I thank him a lot for everything he has done for me.”
Free will play his last season of varsity baseball before graduating in May. He will report to Vanderbilt for training in June.