LaFayette High standout Joe Vines will continue his football career at Tennessee Tech. University. He committed to the Golden Eagles and Head Coach Watson Brown after taking an official visit to the Cookeville, TN campus this past weekend. He announced his decision on twitter.
On his visit, Vines toured the campus and athletic facilities, met with players and coaches and discussed his role on the team next year.
“The campus tour was exciting,” he said. “From the moment I stepped into the weight room, a couple of coaches said they saw it in my eyes that I wanted to be there. And they had my number (2) ready for me.”
The trip to campus along with the persistence and loyalty of the Golden Eagles’ staff proved to be a key factor for Vines. “What really moved me is that they stuck with me from day one,” he said. “Coach Powell (secondary coach) and Sweeney (receivers coach) stayed in contact with me weekly.”
As for his role on the team, Vines said that the needs of the team were laid out for him and he was given options. “They told me that I could play at both corner and A-back,” he says. “I’ll have a chance to start at corner, because they like my ball skills and that I have the ability to force turnovers. I’ll have to wait a year to play on offense, or else redshirt. So I chose to compete at corner for a year. They also emphasized that I would definitely be the return man.”
Vines excelled while at LHS on offense, defense and on special teams. He hauled in 30 touchdown passes and compiled nearly 2,000 yards receiving in his career. On defense, he collected 14 interceptions and forced 12 fumbles. And he had over 600 yards retuning kicks. In his four seasons as a Bulldog, Vines accounted for 41 touchdowns.
Vines joins a Tennessee Tech. squad looking to bounce back after a 3-8 record, including a 1-7 mark in the Ohio Valley Conference in 2012. And with the potential to play early, he hopes he can play a direct role in that turnaround. He’ll also have a chance to prove himself on a grand stage early in the season when the Golden Eagles travel to Madison to take on Big Ten power Wisconsin on September 7. “It would be a great feeling, stepping into Camp Randall stadium of The Wisconsin Badgers, taking the first kickoff,” he added. “In the words of Coach Orlandis Kirby, ‘A man with a dream is dangerous.’”