Take it from ‘DaFellaz’

By Joshua L. Bolden | 1/22/2016, 11:50 a.m. | Tri-State Defender

Athletic ability opened doors to Vanderbilt University for a group of young men who affectionately call themselves “DaFellaz.” The sense of brotherhood they discovered has lasted long after the final play.

“We’re special, I haven’t seen a group like us,” said Dr. Derrick Gragg. “It’s very rare that groups stay together for a very long time even if they come into the situation as friends or as family.”

The bond that was created nearly three decades ago led to a book written by Gragg.

“40 Days of Direction: Life Lessons from the Talented Ten” discusses and profiles 11 young men who met on the campus of Vanderbilt. Gragg wrote the book to advise young men about the dos and don’ts to lead a successful life.

Now the vice president and director of Intercollegiate Athletics at The University of Tulsa, in 1988 Gragg was a freshman excited to play the game of football.

“It was the first time I had been around that many African-American males who were going in that positive direction all at the same time,” said the former Vanderbilt receiver.

Read more at the Tri-State Defender