Monday, January 31, 2011

In Late Push, Vanderbilt Snagging Recruits from Other Schools

Interesting things are happening in the world of Vanderbilt football recruiting, and while we are saving most of our coverage for National Signing Day, I feel compelled to highlight a series of significant coups for Vanderbilt's coaching staff. Word was just released that consensus 3-star DE Barron Dixon has decommitted from Mississippi State and plans to join the Commodores' recruiting class. CJF had recruited Dixon last year while at Maryland.

The Dixon decommitment is just the latest sign of what appears to be a developing pattern: CJF picking off strong recruits from other schools. Earlier today we learned that another 3-star defensive end, Jimmy Stewart, withdrew his commitment to Maryland and plans to sign with Vandy.

But neither of these match the big news of earlier this morning: After an official visit this weekend, 4-star TE prospect (as rated by Scout.com) Dillon van der Wal withdrew his commitment from Arizona State and will sign with the Dores on Wednesday. While pondering the fact that this could be the first 4-star to play for Vanderbilt since John Stokes committed in 2007, observers were left to wonder whether it was the recruiting efforts of the Vanderbilt staff or the alliterative symbiosis between "van der Wal" and "Vanderbilt" that made the difference.  (And for that, I apologize.)

Rumors are also swirling that 4-star WR / dual-threat QB prospect LaFonte Thourogood, rated the #38 WR nationally by Scout.com and the #25 dual-threat QB by Rivals.com, may be rethinking his commitment to Virginia Tech and seriously contemplating a move to Nash Vegas. LFT has a relationship with Chris Beatty going back to Beatty's time at WVU. VSL Nation, your new mission is to become Facebook friends with LaFonte and impress upon him the virtues of playing in black and gold.

I'm probably leaving something out, but this news should be encouraging to every Vanderbilt fan out there. Vanderbilt has already shot up Scout.com's recruiting rankings from #77 to #63 in a matter of days. By Scout's analysis, Vandy's 17 current commits include one 4-star and nine 3-stars. Rivals rates 13 of Vanderbilt's 17 commits as 3-stars. Looking forward to seeing what else might happen as the countdown to Signing Day continues...

1 comment:

Steve said...

Obviously, any time we snag a recruit from another SEC school is reason enough to celebrate. But, what really get's me excited is this quote from Dixon explaining why he decommitted and came to VU- “Vanderbilt is bringing in new coaches and new players, and it’s going to be a new era for the football program. I want to be part of it.”

This is the exact same language CJF has been using since the moment he landed in Nashville. Clearly, at least one recruit is picking up what he's putting down. I know it's early, and I know as Vandy fans we love to get overly optimistic only to come crashing down, but I'm starting think that Franklin is a better fit/hire for us than Malzhan would have been. Just the fact that the VaTech commit is considering Vandy is leaps and bounds past where we've been in the past.

CJF's youth and enthusiasm, coupled with his proven recruiting success, is exactly the kick in the ass that our football program needed. I know CBJ never showed up to frat row while I was there.

-Go Dores