Minnetonka (Minn.) Hopkins wide receiver Andre McDonald took his first official visit of the process this past weekend. After returning home and talking with his family, the four-star prospect decided he had found his future home.
"I had an official visit down to Vanderbilt this past weekend and everything I saw down there was wonderful," McDonald said. "I got to meet the coaches, their families and just bond. I got to see the changes they were making down there and how they are turning the program around and I just decided I wanted to be a part of that.
"I honestly didn't expect what I got. The players were all great guys. I sat in the meeting after the game and they were all hugging me and high-fiving me. I felt like I was already part of the family before I even committed."
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In McDonald's mind, the decision was made while still on Vanderbilt's campus, but he wanted to make sure those around him had a chance to weigh in on the decision before making his commitment official.
"I came home, talked with my family and let [Vanderbilt] know a couple of hours ago," McDonald said. "First I talked to Coach [Chris] Beatty, the receivers coach, and he was ecstatic. Then I talked to Coach [James] Franklin, the head coach, and he was very happy. I could hear them in the back clapping, so that was nice."
McDonald was relieved Monday evening with the decision behind him. He had made an early commitment to Minnesota back in February, but re-opened his process in the summer. Now he is confident he has found the right fit.
"I'm 100 percent with Vanderbilt," he said. "I made a quick decision before and didn't get to feel everything out, so I was not as excited before as I am now. I'm excited about the next four years of my life, playing for the SEC and playing for Coach Franklin."
The decision now allows McDonald to turn his focus completely to his senior season. Hopkins is 1-1 on the year, suffering an overtime loss this past Friday. McDonald scored on a 70-yard screen pass with under a minute to go to tie that ball game and send it into overtime. For the season he estimates his statistics at 10 catches for 250 yards and three touchdowns.