EAST BRAINERD, Tenn. (WRCB) -- Tre Herndon takes risks and makes quick decisions on the football field, but the East Hamilton standout took the opposite approach to his college recruitment.
After receiving interest from lower-tier FBS school and a host of FCS suitors, the rising senior defensive back kept grinding and kept waiting.
That patience paid off last weekend.
Herndon received a scholarship offer from Vanderbilt during a visit to Nashville and subsequently committed to play football for the Commodores.
"I was always hoping to get an SEC offer, but it's all about patience," Herndon said. "I was just waiting on everything and trying not to rush the process, but once I got that offer, I couldn't pass it up."
Herndon is the first East Hamilton player to receive an SEC offer.
Head coach James Franklin kept tabs on Herndon for several months, and finally saw enough to make the 6-foot, 175-pound athlete a part of the Vandy family.
"I didn't know if they would eventually offer after my first camp. I got invited back after that one in June, but he told me to improve on a few things," Herndon said. "When I came back to the second camp, they saw that I had worked on those things and that's when they really jumped on board.
"They want me to keep working with my team, focus on my footwork and working hard. I'm going to go out and have a big blowout season then get ready to get there freshman year and do some work."
Herndon did plenty of work as a junior last fall, recording 63 tackles, four interceptions and eleven pass break-ups while helping the Hurricanes advance to the Class 4A state quarterfinals in an 11-2 season.
The three-star prospect (247Sports.com) drew offers from Memphis, Middle Tennessee State, Appalachian State and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, among others, but Vandy obviously stood above the pack in every regard.
"The location is great because it's close enough my family can still come to the games, but it's far enough away that I can still get out of Chattanooga," Herndon said. "The coaches are amazing guys and the players treated me like family. It's in the SEC, which is the best conference in football, and of course there's academics -- to get a degree from Vanderbilt.
"All that together made the decision easy."