Lots of people have worried about the effect Vandy's lousy season would have on all those outstanding verbal commitments.
Well, espn.com is reporting that Davis Dudchock, a four-star tight end from Alabama, has switched his commitment from Vanderbilt to Stanford, a top academic school whose gridiron success is making Commodore fans even more restless these days.
No worry, though. The Commodores quickly replaced him with... Blake Gowder, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound FULLBACK who had offers from Air Force, Samford, Georgia State and Murray State.
And we don't even use a fullback in our system. And we've already got a former three-star fullback, redshirt sophomore Ryan van Rensburg, who's been playing some at blocking tight end since the injury to Austin Monahan, but whose playing days appeared numbered by the eminent arrival of... Davis Dudchock.
We don't need to expand our collection of scrappy little players who are playing in the SEC only because Vandy will take them and who can play six different positions, none of them well enough to start. We need big, fast athletes who can play now.
But here's hope for Gowder: He did have 1,453 yards and eight touchdowns receiving and he's listed by some services as a wide receiver. But he's way too short to be playing tight end in the SEC and he's way too slow (4.7 40) to be a receiver in the SEC. Maybe he'll play linebacker for us.
Some other verbal commitments have been talking about jumping ship too, including DT Jared Morse, ATH Jerrell Priester and DB Kenneth Ladler, who's now saying he wants to enroll early (except Vanderbilt doesn't allow recruits to enroll in the spring).
Here are some guys we absolutely need on the team next year:
• Wide receiver Bradley Roby, a fast, sure-handed burner who can actually separate from defensive backs and close on a long ball. He could start right away.
• Wide receiver Jonathan Krause, a quick receiver who can get open and get tough yards after the catch.
And here are some guys who, long-term, we can't afford to lose:
• Defensive tackles Kyle Woestmann and Vince Taylor.
• Offensive linemen Grant Ramsay and Logan Stewart.
• Defensive ends Thomas Ryan and James Kittredge
• Defensive backs Andre Hal, Karl Butler and Andre Simmons.