The holidays were a quiet time during which Vanderbilt didn’t add commits to its 2017 recruiting class.
We breakdown where Derek Mason’s class is at as we rapidly approach the Feb. 1 National Signing Day.
Where Vanderbilt’s 2017 recruiting class is ranked
Inaction can sometimes be a benefit. Vanderbilt rose to No. 64 in the nation, per 247Sports’ composite ratings, despite not adding commits in the past week. The Commodores’ 2017 recruiting class moved ahead of No. 65 Wake Forest and No. 66 Kansas State and now trails No. 63 Western Michigan by less than 1.0 percentage points, 150.03 to 149.19.
Mason’s haul of committed talent, however, remains mired in last place among SEC programs. The next closest conference school to Vanderbilt is Ole Miss, which has steadily ascended to No. 38 in the nation.
Who are Vanderbilt’s top 2017 commitments?
Pro-style quarterback Jacob Free leads the list of Vanderbilt’s top recruits, a group that includes 14 3-star prospects. Mason’s recruiting class has four offensive tackles, but four of the top six players committed line up on defense.
Among them are Carrollton (Texas) High School’s Dayo Odeyingbo and Jalen Pinkney of Norcross (Ga.), who could give Vanderbilt a strong defensive end tandem. Odeyingbo is the younger brother of Dare Odeyingbo, who had 4.0 tackles-for-loss and a sack this season for the Commodores. Dayo is the No. 33 strong-side defensive end in 247Sports’ rankings. Pinkney is No. 44 in the nation among those lining up on the opposite side of the defensive line.
Odeyingbo and Pinkney might have to develop quickly. Mason and his staff are aggressively recruiting defensive linemen for their 2018 class. Among some early defensive end targets on Vanderbilt’s horizon include Tola Banjoko of Alexandria, Va.; Jackson Cravens of Provo, Utah; Dorian Hardy of Montvale, N.J.; and Dante Stills of Fairmont, W.Va.
- Jacob Free, PRO
- Bryce Bailey, OT
- Dimitri Moore, OLB
- Randall Haynie, CB
- Dayo Odeyingbo, SDE
- Jalen Pinkney, WDE
Who committed to Vanderbilt in the last week?
There were no Christmas day commits awaiting Mason under the tree. Vanderbilt’s most recent commits came from offensive tackles in Cole Clemens of South Jordan, Utah, and, Jonathan Stewart of Lawrenceville, Ga.
Who de-committed from Vanderbilt this week?
Vanderbilt has been fortunate in that one player, Adam Sparks, was lost to de-commitment. Sparks, a 3-star cornerback, de-committed fon Dec. 16. He found a new home on Christmas Day when he committed to play for SEC East rival Missouri.
Who are Vanderbilt’s top uncommitted targets?
Ryan Thaxton remains Vanderbilt’s top target. A 3-star strong-side defensive end, Thaxton saw his stock rise since de-committing from Virginia. He now includes Ole Miss, Tennessee and Rutgers, as well as the Commodores, among his finalists.
Mason’s class could use a few more playmakers to join the likes of slot back McLane Mannix and wide receiver James Bostic Jr. Vandy could receive a visit from 4-star wide receiver Oliver Martin of Iowa City in the coming weeks, according to 247Sports. But luring the No. 1 player from Iowa to Nashville might be easier said than done. Martin has recently taken official visits to Notre Dame and Michigan State, as well as unofficial trips to Michigan and Iowa.
The most likely uncommitted targets to join the Commodores’ 2017 recruiting class appear to be Thaxton, along with fellow defensive end Michael Owusu, out of West Lake Village, Calif.
Mason is still in pursuit of ILB Feleti Afemui (Hawaii), DB Willie Langham (Alabama), and CBs Demetrius Douglas (Oregon) and Raheem Layne (Florida). Vanderbilt tended offers to all four players.
PRO-STYLE QB (1)
James Bostic Jr.
Geography of the Commodores’ 2017 recruiting class
- Florida (3)
- Georgia (3)
- Texas (3)
- Alabama (2)