"This was the best fit for me and my family. I can have the best of both worlds in academics and basketball at Vanderbilt. Someday the ball will stop bouncing and I want to prepare myself for that situation. My family put me in position to be successful so I want them to see me play as much as possible," Garland told ESPN.
Garland is currently ranked at No. 11 overall in the ESPN 100 and the No. 2 point guard in the Class of 2018 behind Tre Jones. He is the highest-rated recruit to pick Vanderbilt in the ESPN era.
"I want to help change the culture at Vandy. We can be a strong basketball program and a top school, " Garland said.
Bryce Drew, an Indiana native, guided the Commodores to the NCAA tournament in his first season as head coach coming over from a very successful stint at Valparaiso. Drew made Garland a priority since taking over last April. He will entrust Garland with the offensive from day one. Darius lived in Gary, Indiana, until seventh grade, when he moved to Nashville. His father, Winston Garland, was an outstanding player at Missouri State, had his number retired there, and played in the NBA for eight years.
"He is an honest guy who I believe in. I have known Coach Drew since I was in third grade going to his camps. He wants to change the culture at Vandy and I want to help him do that," Garland said.
Over the summer, Garland competed for Bradley Beal Elite and displayed high level ballhanding ability to go along with his sharp outside shooting.
"Darius is very easy to coach. All you have to do is challenge him in any area, and he will work to improve. I think his greatest strength that is most overlooked is his passing ability. Excellent shooter and handler, but an even better passer. He is an even better kid than player," Brentwood Academy head coach Hubie Smith told ESPN.
Four-star shooting guard Aaron Nesmith also has signed with Vanderbilt.
Garland will now try to recruit ESPN No. 6 Romeo Langford, who recently cut his list of schools down to Indiana, Kansas and Vanderbilt. "We were teammates over the summer in Italy." Garland said.
Garland is the first ranked commitment for the Commodores in the Class of 2018 and currently the 13th top-100 prospect to commit to the SEC for 2018.