Vanderbilt added a massive commitment to the 2021 class on Monday. Literally. Terion “Tank” Sugick, a 6’2” 290 pound DT from National Christian Academy in Fort Washington, Maryland decided to join the Commodores over offers from SEC East rivals Florida and Tennessee. Tank is a 3-star recruit rated as the No. 644 player in the class and No. 36 DT by 247sports.
Sugick initially committed to Virginia, and was actually the first prospect to pledge to their class, but decided to decommit and re-open his recruitment in December. The Dore Report’s Billy Derrick caught up with Sugick on Timeout to get his thoughts on that process and what ultimately led him to Vanderbilt.
“I decided to decommit because I thought it was too early.” Sugick explained. “I didn’t want to feel like I was being pressured into anything, so I wanted to take my time, explore, and give other schools the opportunity to recruit me before I committed again.”
Even while Sugick was committed to the Cavaliers, Coach Mason and DL Coach Jovan Haye remained persistent. Sugick told Billy, “What intrigued me the most was when I committed to Virginia they still kept in contact. They texted me every day, like nothing happened. Still check up on my parents. Made sure I was doing good in school.”
After Sugick’s decommitment, the Vanderbilt coaches were able to get him in for a visit in January. Sugick said, “I came and took a visit so I could see it myself. I loved the campus, the coaches, Me and my family felt like we were at home.” The Tank also said it was important to him to “Go where you’re wanted, not where you’re tolerated.”
It’s clear he has formed a strong bond with Coach Mason and believes in his vision. Terion praised the Vandy HC when asked about him, “Coach Mason, that’s my guy!”
When asked what specifically about Mason’s coaching style to appealed to Sugick, he said, “The thing I like the most, he wants to see every kid succeed. He doesn’t only want to see on person he wants to see the whole team. He brings enlightenment to the team. He’s not the head coach that just wants to yell at you all day, he makes sure you’re having fun and enjoying where you’re at.”
Unless you’re a die-hard football recruiting guru, you probably haven’t seen video from Sugick. So what kind of player can Vandy fans expect to see? He describes himself as a play-maker saying, “I like chasing the quarterback.”
Commodore fans are also going to fall in love with his confidence and swagger, requisite traits for playing defensive line, “Whoever you line me up in front of, it could be four- star, five-star, no star, they’re all going to get treated the same. Nobody can block me, I just have that mindset.”
His football heroes include Hall of Famer Warren Sapp and current All-Pro Aaron Donald, the superstar DT with the Los Angeles Rams. Another interesting tidbit: Sugick’s godmother is actually the ex-wife of Cam Newton, the former MVP QB of the Carolina Panthers. He and Tank still have a good relationship.
Like the players he idolizes, Tank is ready to make a difference on the field for the Commodore defense.
“I want to make a new name for the program. I want to flip it around, build it back up,” Sugick said. “I’m going to bring hustle, effort, and I’m going to be a positive teammate. I want to see everybody succeed. I want to see everybody reach their goals.”
While the quarantine has much of the country shut down, Sugick is still doing what he can to prepare for next season. He is still able to work out three times a day. Best of all, he says he isn’t going to stop trying to convince a few of his friends to join him.
“I’m going after the best” he says and adds fans shouldn’t be surprised if seven to ten more join him on West End. That’s music to the ears of Commodore fans hoping to add a few more “tanks” to the arsenal.