Friday, April 18, 2014 7:01 AM
Gaithersburg High School's Solomon Vault is a speed demon of a tailback. Photo by Jacqui South.
Published on: Thursday, September 05, 2013
By Brandy L. Simms
Solomon Vault is a speed demon.
The shifty Gaithersburg senior tailback is ready to take the Trojans to new heights.
“We got a good group of core guys coming back,” said Vault, a four-year varsity starter, “so I think we can make a run [at a state title].”
As a freshman, Vault was a contributor on a team that featured quarterback Zack Fetters along with talented wide receivers Billy Brown, Simba Gwashavanhu and Kris Westphal who all earned scholarships to play football at the next level.
However, that team fell to Urbana, 37-6, in a 4A state semifinal matchup and, therefore, came up short of the ultimate prize.
As a sophomore, Vault emerged as one of the county’s top rushers, surpassing the 1,000 yard plateau but the Trojans still failed to make the playoffs.
Last year, Vault once again surpassed the century mark, rushing for over 1,200 yards and registering 20 touchdowns for a Gaithersburg team that finished 3-7. He credits the offensive line for opening holes that he can run through.
“I don’t do anything without them,” said Vault, “so I give them all the credit in the world.”
College scouts from across the nation have taken notice, too, with formal offers from various Division I programs including Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Minnesota and Purdue but the 5-foot-10, 190-pound speedster gave a verbal pledge to Northwestern in April.
The Wildcats posted a 10-3 overall record last season including a 5-3 mark in the Big Ten Conference. Northwestern also won the Gator Bowl on New Year’s Day with a 34-20 victory over Mississippi State.
“The program is on the rise,” said Vault, who was also recruited to play slot receiver at Northwestern. “There’s nowhere to go but up.”
The Illinois based school is also known for its strong academics so Vault will fit right in. He carries a 3.4 grade point average and boasts a 1620 SAT score.
“When I get out of school,” he said, “I want a degree that carries some weight.”
Although Gaithersburg has not won a state championship since the 2000 campaign when Kreg Kephart took over the program, Vault will be instrumental in helping lead the Trojans back to the promised land.