Wednesday, February 2, 2011

National Signing Day Coverage

Check it out here and on's Signing Day Central. If I were you, I'd be following's Twitter Feed for the latest and greatest. I'll be updating this thread all day as news comes in.

As of 1:57pm:

Coach Hand's Twitter calls it: "21 2011's locked and on to 2012!"

As of 1:45pm:

Joe Townsend's name is back on the list.

As of 1:35pm (When Bobby got back from lunch): ANOTHER WHALE

Dillon van der Wal TE/DE (Rivals 3-Star; Scout 4-Star)

Darien Bryant RB (Rivals 3-Star; Scout 3-Star)

Jerron Seymore Athlete (Rivals 3-Star; Scout 3-Star)

As of 11:15am:

Joe Townsend OL/DL (Rivals 2-Star; Scout 2-Star)
NOTE as of 1:42pm: Joe's name has been removed from the VU signee list, as has his video. I have no idea why but will try and find an answer.

As of 10:41am:

Josh Grady QB (Rivals 3-Star; Scout 3-Star)

As of 10:27am: THE BIG FISH IS IN!

LaFonte Thourogood QB (Rivals 3-Star; Scout 4-Star). This is the biggest signing of the day so far for CJF and staff.

As of 10:05am:

Jahmel McIntosh DB (Rivals 3-Star; Scout 2-Star)

As of 9:53am:

Mitchell Hester RB (Rivals 2-Star; Scout 3-Star)

As of 9:47am:

Jacquese Kirk DB/WR (Rivals 3-Star; Scout 3-Star)

As of 9:35am:

Andrew Williamson DB (Rivals 2-Star; Scout NR)

As of 9:28am:

Conor Hart DL (Rivals 2-Star; Scout 3-Star)

As of 9:19am:

Derek King DB (Rivals 3-Star; Scout 3-Star)

As of 9:13am:

First major coup as it looks like QB Joshua Grady is headed to Vanderbilt.'s Jesse Johnson says the 6'3 honor-student QB reminds him, athletically, of Randall Cobb.

Kris Kentra QB (Rivals 2-Star; Scout NR)

As of 9:04am:

Barron Dixon DE (Rivals 3-Star; Scout 3-Star)

As of 8:59am:

Coach Hand is happy: "WE ARE ROLLIN'"

As of 8:52am:

Spencer Pulley OL (Rivals 3-Star; Scout 2-Star

As of 8:40am, here's who we've got signed so far:

Steven Scheu TE (Rivals 3-Star; Scout 2-Star)
Larry Franklin DB (Rivals 3-Star; Scout 3-Star)
Jimmy Stewart DE (Rivals 2-Star; Scout 3-Star)
Jose Valedon OL (Rivals 3-Star; Scout 2-Star)
James Lewis OL (Rivals 3-Star; Scout 3-Star)
Jake Bernstein OL (Rivals 3-Star; Scout 3-Star)


Anonymous said...

So we snagged some 3 stars (I see a ton of 2s in there), and we landed 1 huge 4 star. Still, we're competing against schools with basically nothing but 4 and 5 stars and a handful of 3s. Not sure that Coach Hand should be celebrating yet. He's gotta cook up a game plan to make a team largely comprised of 2 and 3 stars beat teams largely comprised of 4s on a regular basis.

Good luck. No other staff has ever done it.

And don't nobody tell me Jay Cutler was a 2 star un-recruited as a QB. That's 1 in a million. Mugsy Bogues played in the NBA too. You gonna put your money on a 5'6 guy to start in the NBA?

Seamus O'Toole said...

Most important thing to emphasize as we look at the commitment list: Vandy, to my knowledge, has never signed two 4-star recruits in the same class. As far as I know John Stokes is the only 4-star who's ever suited up for the Dores. This year's recruiting class will feature two 4-star players (according to LaFonte Thourogood and Dillon van der Wal. I think this is a huge step in the right direction and a promising sign of things to come. CJF & Co. deserve a ton of credit for doing a lot in a short amount of time. By the end of the day we could be looking at a Top-50 class or something close to it -- and this despite the coaching turnover and a shortage of open scholarships. Pretty impressive work from our staff.

Anonymous said...

Yeah top 50 class. But that only matters as it relates to the ranking of our conference foes. Seamus, how do you predict we stack up ranking wise in the SEC? I'm predicting last place, or 2nd to last.

Anonymous said...

How many stars does Grady have? Everyone over at vandymania is falling beside themselves over Grady, but I see no star ranking by his name? Who else wanted him as a QB?

Just curious...

Seamus O'Toole said...

Scout rates Grady as a 3-star QB (#50 nationally at his position).

To answer the previous question, I have no doubt that Vanderbilt's class will be dead last in the SEC. But I would be quick to add that this doesn't mean it's not progress. Our peer classes look to be Arizona State, NC State, UCLA, Boise State, Maryland, WVU, Pitt, Northwestern... More importantly, the guys who came on our radar late in the game hint at just what these coaches might be capable of if given a full recruiting season to work their magic.

Anonymous said...

But I would be quick to add that this doesn't mean it's not progress. Our peer classes look to be Arizona State, NC State, UCLA, Boise State, Maryland, WVU, Pitt, Northwestern...

I would argue that it does mean we're not going to progress. We don't play in the ACC, the PAC 10, the Big East or the Big 10. We play in the SEC. So, our barometer of success in terms of fielding competitive talent can't be the teams you cite. It has to be within our own conference.

Seamus O'Toole said...

"More importantly, the guys who came on our radar late in the game hint at just what these coaches might be capable of if given a full recruiting season to work their magic."

This is the key point. It's important when measuring the progress in this year's class that we consider the hand dealt to this coaching staff in terms of doing everything on a short fuse (a problem almost everywhere there is coaching turnover) and the fact that we are attracting high-caliber decommitments at the 11th hour. Then you also have to keep in mind that this year is already a difficult one for Vandy recruiting because we have fewer scholarships available to offer, which is necessarily going to affect the ranking of our class (they do it by combined strength of recruits, not average strength). Pound-for-pound our class is right up there with, for example, Mississippi State.

Bobby O'Shea said...

I've got to say I am stick and tired of Vanderbilt fans looking for reasons not to be optimistic. Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised, but given the significantly condensed recruiting period, as well as the class we appeared to have coming in under the old regime, to characterize today's commitment list as anything less than a complete success for the Commodores and CJF's staff is ridiculous.

Progress isn't the end result, and the Commodores as a program certainly have room to grow and build. But that should not diminish anything the staff appears poised to accomplish today. College football isn't the NFL, and rarely do programs go from worst to first. It takes time (look at Stanford, for example).

If you are so convinced Vanderbilt football is an exercise in futility, is reading VSL really the best use of your time?

The Goche said...

"If you are so convinced Vanderbilt football is an exercise in futility, is reading VSL really the best use of your time?"

It should say this in the title box at the top of the page.

In any case, I'd like to thank George Plaster for logging on to spread his deep knowledge at 9:38.

Anonymous said...

Any word on Van Der Wal?

KHH said...

look, things are going to change overnight, let's be positive and look at the change that CJF has brought to Vandy already! Step by step we will get to where we all want us to be! GO DORES!

I'm excited for Vanderbilt football!

The Goche (A.J.) said...

Don't look now, but Moral Victory is suggesting Townsend might be a grayshirt.

The Goche (A.J.) said...


Now UF can have something to condescend over us for. We'll have to settle for condescending on them for everything else about their program.

Still just a rumor though.

Unknown said...

Any word on Dillon van der Wal?

Andrew VU '04 said...

There's nothing wrong with the practice of grayshirting if the recruit knows this is the plan when he signs. Grayshirting is reprehensible (Florida's AD's words) when the school tells the recruits this after the fact, sometimes after the student has already enrolled and is living in the dorms. So park the whambulance for a bit.

(Side note: The word verification for this post was "jorted," which I think is quite fitting for a post that refers to someone from UF.)

Anonymous said...


If you go to ESPN's coverage of recruiting day here:

They do not list Vandy as getting a single 3 star recruit. Is their star system different? They acknowledge that we've signed 18, but list us last in the conference and without any 3 stars.

What gives?

The Goche (A.J.) said...

@Andrew VU '04

That was a joke. We had this discussion yesterday. I completely agree with you.

Bobby O'Shea said...

Dillon van der Wal is committed to the Commodores

Anonymous said...

I agree with Bobby on this one. Usually I am the most pessimistic of Vandy football fans; however, I for one am shocked at the success CJF and his staff had given the short amount of time they were given. A lot of these guys they are bringing in were not even on our radar under Robbie Caldwell/Bobby Johnson. I would also point out that all CJF has to do this year is show improvement (which shouldn't be hard following a 2-10 season) and if he can do that, combined with a full recruiting season, I think even the most pessimistic of Vandy football fans may be shocked at what they may be capable of. For the first time since I thought we were hiring Gus Malzahn, I must say that I am pumped for Vandy football.

Bobby O'Shea said...

That has to be one of the first time an anonymous posters has agreed with me.