National Signing Day is set for Wednesday. With that in mind, we take a look back at some of the players who were at one point members of the Vanderbilt 2018 recruiting class before they opted to take their services elsewhere.
Derek Mason and his staff have had only two defections for the 2018 class, but they are both high-profile departures as both players were heavily recruited and poached away by Power 5 programs with new coaches.
Alontae Taylor, 4-star wide receiver (Manchester, Tenn.) — Signed with Tennessee
Taylor first committed in October 2015. At that point, he had offers only from Vanderbilt and Troy. His profile picked up quickly after that as he garnered offers from Tennessee, Georgia Tech and Louisville. Taylor eventually backed off his pledge on May 12, 2016. Shortly after, schools like Michigan, LSU, Florida and Georgia came calling.
Taylor then committed to Tennessee on June 18, 2016. He backed off that pledge after Butch Jones was fired by Tennessee. But after the Volunteers hired Jeremy Pruitt to replace Jones, Taylor found himself back in the Volunteers’ class, committing on Dec. 13 and signing on Dec. 22. Taylor is the No. 122 player in country and would’ve been Vanderbilt’s highest-rated commitment had he stayed in the class.
Myles Jones, 3-star athlete (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) — Committed to Nebraska
Jones plays for powerhouse program American Heritage, which has produced a number of star college football players over the years. He had offers from a number of SEC schools, such as Mississippi State, Kentucky and even Georgia. But Jones decided to commit to the Commodores, and did so on March 26, 2017.
He had a chance to sign his letter of intent and officially lock himself in with Vanderbilt, but Jones picked up a late offer from Nebraska after it hired Scott Frost. Jones took a visit to Nebraska on Jan. 12, 2018 and just days later he backed off his pledge to Vanderbilt. On Jan. 18, Jones committed to the Cornhuskers.
The Florida native is listed at 5-foot-9 and is the No. 633 player in the country. Jones is a 3-star recruit.
Tyree Thompson, 3-star linebacker (Mission Hills, Calif.) — Committed to UCLA
Thompson was one of just three Vanderbilt players who did not sign early. He backed off his commitment the Saturday before national signing day and flipped to UCLA, which is much closer to home. Of the prospects who committed to Vanderbilt before the early signing period and did not sign, only 3-star cornerback Rayshad Williams remains publicly committed to Vanderbilt.