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JUCO tight end blowing up

Palm Desert (Calif.) College of the Desert tight end Brandon Vandenburg has seen his stock soar as of late. The 6-foot-6, 255-pounder played as a true freshman at the University of San Diego last year before heading to the JUCO ranks.

Brandon Vanderburg wants to take all five of his offcial visits before make a decision.

With him being an integral part of the offense this year, four-year schools have taken notice and he has racked up several offers in the recent weeks. One of the most recent came from an SEC program.

“I got offered by Texas A&M last week,” Vandenburg said on Wednesday afternoon. “My coaches had sent out my film to them and they offered me. I don’t have a visit set up but I’ll probably go on one in the end of November or sometime in December. I know a little bit about them. I know they’re in the SEC and that they’re the home of the 12th man.

“I just had the one phone call with the offer. I don’t know coach it was. I’m talking to a lot of coaches every day so it’s tough to remember. I’ll probably be hearing from them sometime this week or next week though.”

The Aggies are in the running for Vandenburg’s service but they have one major hurdle to overcome.

“It’s up there. It’s definitely in the running,” he said. “I’ve noticed that they don’t use tight ends as much as I like. That’s really the only issue I have with Texas A&M. It’s a really academic school and that’s a big plus and they’re obviously really good at football and that’s a big plus too.”

While he holds several other offers, a handful of schools intrigue Vandenburg at the moment.

“Kentucky, Kansas, Boise, San Diego State and Cal – those are some of the ones I’m really interested in,” he said. “They’ve all offered except Boise is on their way to offering but hasn’t yet. The same with Cal. I’m also talking to Texas Tech – that just came in to the picture on Monday.

“I like the tradition that Boise has. Kansas is struggling a little bit but they’re in a good conference. I like that they both use the tight end a lot.”

Vandenburg feels he is well-rounded as a tight end prospect and wants to go to a school that will use his abilities.

“I’m a true tight end,” he said. “I can be flexed out. I flex out a lot here at the junior college. I think a reason I’ve gotten a lot of these offers is that you may see a tight end that can catch well but can’t block or that can block real well but isn’t a receiving threat. I think I’m pretty well-rounded on both those areas.

“Obviously I’m looking for an offense that uses the tight end but I’m not real concerned about the exact offense. I think coaches design plays for their playmakers so, if I prove to be that, I think I’ll be part of the offense no matter what.”

Vandenburg is set to graduate in December and enroll at his next destination in January so he wants to have his decision out of the way fairly soon. However, he wants to use his five allotted official visits first.

“Pretty much all the schools I’ve been offered by want me to visit but I’ve still got offers coming in so I want to see what all comes in and then make a top five to go visit.

“Honestly at this point I don’t really have a good idea (as to a top five). This is all sort of new with these schools coming in. I just want to decide after I take my visits. I’m not going to rush into any decisions before I see the schools.”

Vandenburg played at San Diego last year and appeared in five games but did not record a reception. So far this season he has caught 18 passes for 273 yards and three touchdowns.

Taylor Hamm contributed to this report.

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