After a few weeks of silence, Vanderbilt jumped back into the mix with a big week, landing several coveted names within a 24-hour span.
We break down the Commodores’ latest recruiting efforts as we inch closer to National Signing Day.
Where Vanderbilt’s 2017 recruiting class is ranked
Boise State leapfrogged Vanderbilt in 247 Sports’ composite rankings, jumping over the No. 66 Commodores to No. 64 in the FBS just ahead of Kansas State. It’s the same spot as last week for Derek Mason’s program, which now sits just ahead of No. 67 Wake Forest. With a class of 13 commitments, only seven other Power 5 conference schools (No. 36 TCU, No. 45 Oregon, No. 46 Texas, No. 48 Stanford, No. 52 Arizona State, No. 60 UCLA, No. 71 Utah) have fewer players currently lined up for the 2017 season than Vanderbilt.
As a result, the Commodores remain last in the SEC rankings with the next closest conference program being Ole Miss at No. 47 in the nation.
Who are Vanderbilt’s top 2017 commitments?
Jacob Free continues to head the Class of 2017. The pro-style quarterback from Brantley (Ala.) High School received some competition, however, last week, not from the Class of 2017, but, rather, from the following year’s crop. Vanderbilt landed Allan Walters on Dec. 16, the No. 11-ranked pro-style quarterback in the Class of 2018.
Walters is the former teammate of last year’s No. 1 recruit, Rashan Gary, at Paramus Catholic (N.J.) High School, but transferred to Peddie School (Hightstown, N.J.) as a junior. He has family in the Nashville area and visited the weekend of Nov. 19 in time to witness the Commodores’ upset win over Ole Miss.
If Walters does sign, he’d be the first 4-star recruit since CB Joejuan Williams signed with the program last year — that is, if Mason fails to lure any to this year’s class, which currently has none.
Vanderbilt’s top-5 commits
— Allan Walters (@awalters_jr) December 16, 2016
Who committed to Vanderbilt in the last week?
While Walters is a big get for Vanderbilt, Mason landed a top target on his list the same day that the 2018 quarterback committed to play in Nashville. Cole Clemens brings his hulking 6-5, 290-pound frame to Vanderbilt by way of Utah’s Bingham High School, committing to the Commodores hours after Walters. Along with Bryce Bailey (who tips the scales at the same height and weight), Mason now has two big, 3-star offensive tackles in his 2017 class that rank inside the top 100 in the nation, according to 247Sports (Bailey at No. 69 and Clemens at No. 98). Add Grant Miller (6-4, 278 pounds) to the mix and Vanderbilt has three offensive tackles already lined up for the 2017 class.
Who de-committed from Vanderbilt this week?
Despite the addition of OT Cole Clemens to the 2017 class, Vanderbilt is likely mired again at No. 66 in the nation after losing out on Adam Sparks. The 3-star cornerback de-committed from the Commodores on Dec. 16. Sparks is ranked as the No. 86 cornerback in the nation and No. 36 player in the state of Louisiana.
Who are Vanderbilt’s top uncommitted targets?
Vanderbilt received a slight boost in confidence in landing Ryan Thaxton after one of the program’s biggest targets announced that the Commodores were among his final four teams. Mason still has to compete with Ole Miss, Tennessee and Rutgers for the strong-side defensive end. Thaxton, the No. 39 overall player at his position in the nation, would join SDE Dayo Odeyingbo and WDE Jalen Pinkney among Vanderbilt’s Class of 2017 defensive linemen.
Yusuf Corker is the top un-committed target on Vanderbilt’s board, but the Commodores appear to be out of the running for the cornerback, making Thaxton the next-most coveted on their list of targets.
Final 4 ‼️‼️‼️ pic.twitter.com/4LFds83qgO
— Big Ryan (@45_TheFuture) December 23, 2016
PRO-STYLE QB (1)
Bryce Bailey, Cole Clemens, Grant Miller
Dimitri Moore, Colin Anderson
Geography of the Commodores’ 2017 recruiting class
- Florida (3)
- Texas (3)
- Alabama (2)
- Georgia (2)