Blog Entry

Vandy - yes Vandy - scores three big commitments

Posted on: July 1, 2011 4:16 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer

For ages upon ages, Vanderbilt was looked at as a school that grabbed recruits that either other schools didn't want or because they simply wanted to get a good education. Under new head coach James Franklin, it appears the perception has changed and the school, at least for a few 2012 recruits, is a place to get a good education and play SEC football.

The Commodores made their biggest statement on the recruiting trail in years (probably decades) Friday afternoon as Nashville (Tenn.) defensive end Caleb Azubike, wide receiver Corey Batey and running back Brian Kimbrow all committed to the school in a big ceremony that was carried live on a state-wide radio station.

“The reason I made that decision is I like to be different,” Kimbrow, right, told “I like a challenge. I don’t want anything to be given to me. It’s close to home and it felt like home and it gave me an opportunity to be successful after football.”

The 5-foot-9, 160-pound running back is considered the top prospect in the state of Tennessee and ranked 38th in the MaxPreps Top 100. He spurned scholarship offers from schools such as Alabama, Arkansas, Notre Dame and USC to play for Vandy and while some see the decision to go to the school as a mistake, Kimbrow sees it as an opportunity.

“It’s very exciting, very exciting,” he said. “Most people might say I’m making a bad decision but I feel like it’s the best decision for me. Coach Franklin told me that fe feels like he can put me in a good situation and we can write our own destiny. That’s something that interests a lot of players around here.”

For Azubike, a 6-foot-4 pass rushing threat, the school that Coach Franklin was selling seemed to fall perfectly in-line with what he was looking for in his future program.

“I’ve been thinking about committing for a long time,” Azubike said. “I really liked Boston College and Mississippi State those are great schools. I decided Vandy was better. I still plan on taking visits to see what out there in the fall but right now Vandy is the best school for me.“

The trio puts Vanderbilt over the double-digit commitment mark for the class of 2012 with 11 total. All of the players in the class are from either Tennessee or Georgia so it's clear that Franklin and his staff are hitting two states for the majority of their talent.

Given the way Stanford has successfully pitched academics with competitive football over the past few years, perhaps it's time to think about Vanderbilt following in their footsteps.

Since: Oct 10, 2010
Posted on: July 1, 2011 7:41 pm

Vandy - yes Vandy - scores three big commitments

the muzzer: you think baylor is the academic school in the big 12? you need to look up UT's academic record. They are up there with Northwestern, Duke, Stanford, and Vanderbilt in several categories. Much better than Baylor's academics. Look it up.

Since: Oct 29, 2007
Posted on: July 1, 2011 7:13 pm

Vandy - yes Vandy - scores three big commitments

They should have their own conference--along with Army, Navy and Air Force.  It could be called the Academic Conference and I would watch.  It would be refreshing.

Since: Feb 17, 2011
Posted on: July 1, 2011 7:02 pm

Vandy - yes Vandy - scores three big commitments

Franklin was a good at recruiting at Maryland but as an OC he wasn't very impressive. Only time will tell how he is as a head coach but I don't foresee Vandy becoming a powerhouse the best thing going for him is playing in the east which is the weaker side of the SEC IMO

Since: Mar 22, 2011
Posted on: July 1, 2011 6:50 pm

Vandy - yes Vandy - scores three big commitments

All I can say is ... 5'9", 160 pounds. And I note that Tennessee was not included in the schools he or the other two were considering. Hmmm, wonder why?

Since: Oct 17, 2006
Posted on: July 1, 2011 6:32 pm

Vandy - yes Vandy - scores three big commitments

Every conference has a academic school..Big 10 Northwestern, ACC Duke, Pac 10/12 Stanford, Big 12 Baylor, SEC Vanderbilt...They don't get the best recruits because the schools actually put academics above sports. It's good to see when these schools succeed. Atleast I don't worry about cheating at these schools. It would be a sad state of affairs when one of the academic schools get caught for paying players or breaking NCAA rulles.

Since: Jan 14, 2010
Posted on: July 1, 2011 5:50 pm

Vandy - yes Vandy - scores three big commitments

Maybe Maryland should've kept Franklin after all?

Since: Feb 15, 2011
Posted on: July 1, 2011 5:05 pm

Vandy - yes Vandy - scores three big commitments

Sounds like a very good thing that Vandy has going here. I hope they do turn into another SEC power team. There are never enough good teams in NCAA sports, it always seems to be the same teams being on top. I hope they make it happen and shake things up a bit.

Since: Jul 22, 2008
Posted on: July 1, 2011 4:50 pm

Vandy - yes Vandy - scores three big commitments

To really compete in the SEC, it begins and ends with recruiting -- something that (in football) Vandy has struggled with mightily given their academic standards. James Franklin will turn out to be a VERY good hire for the Commodores if he can consistently attract the likes of Azubike, Batey, and Kimbrow.

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