Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Vanderbilt gets football recruits coveted by Florida, Oklahoma and Tennessee — and one under the radar

As Feb. 4 signing day rapidly approaches, let's take a look at who else offered scholarships to the guys who eventually chose us — and will hopefully back up their verbal commitment when it's time to put pen to paper. Forget stars and rankings — if Oklahoma or Florida want a guy, that means he's good.

So which of our commitments got the most love from the powerhouse schools?

• TE/DE Thad McHaney: Offers from No. 5 Oklahoma, No. 10 Oregon, No. 14 Ole Miss and four other SEC schools, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky and Auburn

• DT Darius McMullin: Offers from No. 1 Florida, as well as SEC bowl victors No. 14 Ole Miss and Kentucky.

• CB Eddie Foster: Offers from No. 2 Utah, No. 11 Boise State, No. 14 Ole Miss and No. 17 Cincinnati

• OL Wes Johnson: Offers from No. 22 Georgia Tech, plus SEC teams Auburn and Kentucky

• CB Trey Wilson: Offers from No. 7 TCU and traditional powerhouse Nebraska

• WR Brady Brown: Offers from No. 20 Iowa and traditional powerhouse Nebraska

• RB Warren Norman: Offer from No. 22 Georgia Tech

• TE Mason Johnston: Offer from No. 24 Michigan State

One guy who didn't get any other offers? Eric Samuels, a three-star athlete who flew under the radar and committed to Vanderbilt in June before he got his stars. Now he's rated ahead of fellow running back commitments Warren Norman and Zac Stacy.

Samuels (photo above) has told Bobby Johnson he wants to play running back and the coach says he'll give him a look there. He's big and fast, and we certainly need a power running back. Even though some experts project Samuels to play in the secondary, Vanderbilt's always been good about giving coveted athletes a chance to try offense — remember a certain safety prospect from Santa Claus, Ind.? Then again, Johnson also knows when to move guys to defense — three-fourths of the Commodores' stellar secondary last season came to Vanderbilt listed as offensive players (WRs Myron Lewis and D.J. Moore and FB Reshard Langford).

Here are all the schools that made offers to Vanderbilt commitments:

Three players: Ole Miss, Duke, Northwestern, Iowa State, Air Force, Kentucky, UAB

Two players: Nebraska, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Stanford, Maryland, Central Florida, Louisiana Tech, Tulane, Florida International, Miami-Ohio

One player: Cincinnati, Utah, Florida, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, UCLA, TCU, Virginia, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Rice, Iowa, Kansas, Purdue, Louisville, Western Kentucky, Army, Navy, Louisiana Monroe, SMU, Ball State, Boise State, New Mexico, Central Michigan, Ohio, Eastern Illinois, MTSU, Memphis, Indiana, Eastern Michigan, Arkansas State, South Alabama, Marshall

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