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Collins Hill's Greenstone commits to Vandy

In the end, there was just no reason to wait for T.J. Greenstone.

The Collins Hill defensive lineman knew where he wanted to play his college ball and wasted little time wrestling with the decision, choosing the Vanderbilt Commodores on Monday - some six months before National Signing Day in early February.

"Actually, I was thinking about maybe waiting it out to see what other options I would have," Greenstone said. "But I really want to enjoy this season and have a good time with my friends. I want to worry about the team instead of me, so it's a huge relief to get it out of the way early.

"There was really no point in waiting. I knew I wanted to go to Vanderbilt, so why not do it now?"

The 6-foot-21⁄2, 260-pound, 16-year-old (he doesn't turn 17 until Sept. 27) chose the Commodores over Division I-AA schools like Furman and Tennessee-Chattanooga. Greenstone was also garnering plenty of attention from Ole Miss and North Carolina before committing to Vandy on Monday.

"I camped out there and it felt like home," Greenstone said, "but when I was there I didn't get a chance to see the campus. So I went on a visit this past Thursday and my mom was just in love with it, because of the academics. After all, a $48,000 scholarship is not bad.

"But the main reason was Coach (Rick) Logo ... he knows so much about the game it just amazed me. He's a great coach, a real respectable guy. On top of that, the academics are great - it's the Harvard of the South."

It's turning into the Harvard of Gwinnett County.

Greenstone is the third local player in the last six months to commit to Vandy - Parkview's Greg Billinger and Duluth's Kennard Reeves signed with the Commodores in February.

"It's definitely on the rise," Greenstone said of the Vanderbilt program. "They were one win away from a bowl game last year. They're definitely getting better."

As a junior, Greenstone registered a team-leading 105 tackles and seven sacks for the Eagles.