Fitz Lassing did everything you could ask him to do this fall for Nashville (Tenn.) Montgomery Bell Academy. The 6-3 225-pound fullback/linebacker started on both sides of the ball for the Big Red and was also one of the best punters in the state. His play was the driving force behind MBA's underdog run to the state championship game. Just one day before National Signing Day, that hard work paid off, with a phone call from Vanderbilt head coach Bobby Johnson.
"I went on a visit and they were like 'we're trying to work everything out but there may not be a spot," Lassing said of the offer situation. "So I had kind of accepted that. Today I was in the weight room and Coach McGugin said to come to office and Coach (Bobby) Johnson was on the phone and said that the numbers worked out and that they were offering me a full scholarship."
After a quick phone call to his parents, Lassing was committed to play for the Commodores.
As a Nashville native, it's a fitting next chapter to his football career.
"It's always been on my mind growing up here with Vanderbilt in my backyard the whole time," he said. "I considered some other places and had a few other offers but when it comes down to it, Vandy plays the best competition and on the biggest stage and it's an honor to compete there."
There was some doubt down the stretch for Lassing as he turned down other scholarship opportunities for the hope that an opportunity at Vanderbilt would arise. He can take comfort in the fact that it was an opportunity well-earned.
Lassing's accomplishments as a senior were no small feat. After losing its starting quarterback to a season-ending injury, MBA looked to Lassing to drive its late-season and playoff run, playing linebacker, running back and an increasingly frequent role as quarterback in the "wildcat" personnel grouping. Head Coach Daniel McGugin quickly points out his importance to his team's success.
"Whenever we needed a yard, we gave it to Fitz and whenever we needed to make a tackle we would put Fitz in the spot to make the play," McGugin said. "I watched every game this weekend during our snow-days and it made me realize that even though he touched the ball 99 percent of the time, we should have given it to him even more."
Even more impressive than what he's been able to do on the field is what Lassing has done in the classroom.
"He's what our school is all about," said his head coach. "We've got "Gentleman, Scholar, Athlete" engraved on stone walls here. He's a first class person. He has a 4.5 gpa with 35 ACT and 1590 SAT so he's a scholar and a candidate for our valedictorian. Athlete wise he was the best player on our state runner up team and won our region MVP over some pretty dang good kids."
At Vanderbilt, Lassing could play on either side of the ball. He met with both the linebacker coach and the tight end/fullback coach during his recent official visit. Lassing joins teammate, Brad Bars a Penn State commit, as the second Montgomery Bell Academy athlete to land a late BCS scholarship offer and commit.