Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Caldwell needs to win fast to keep job... and win recruiting battles

Bobby Johnson told the guys at 104.5 The Zone last week that Robbie Caldwell needs more than this season to prove himself, and that his success in 2010 shouldn't be measured by victories. Johnson also said — and this was a week before David Williams lifted the interim label from Caldwell — that he believed Caldwell WAS the head coach and that he deserved and would get at least another season.

Caldwell's best players, Johnson said, are his youngest players, and those players will be peaking in 2011 and 2012. That's what we were saying a couple of months ago about Johnson as articles were surfacing saying he was on the hot seat. Johnson laid a solid foundation for 2011-2012 and he should have gotten the chance to see it through. Now Johnson's argument is that his hand-picked successor, Caldwell, should get the chance to see it through.

While Caldwell may or may not have to win now to keep his job, he absolutely needs to win in order to boost recruiting. If you're a recruit leaning toward Vandy, why on earth wouldn't you wait at least a month to see how the team fares in its opener against Northwestern, a team that you probably have also considered because it's a private academic institution playing in a major athletic conference?

Meanwhile, Vandy is losing some important recruiting battles. A month ago, we identified recruits that Rivals, Scout and ESPN all said were considering Vandy. That list included three offensive linemen, by far Vandy's most critical recruiting need. Since Bobby Johnson's retirement, all three have committed to other schools — tackle Watts Dantzler of Georgia to UGA, tackle David Simon of Alabama to South Florida, and center Mack Crowder of Bristol, Tenn., to UT (ouch). Jared Boyd, a cornerback from Kenny Ladler's high school in Stone Mountain, chose Duke, and Cameron Dickerson, a raw wide receiver from New Jersey, chose Northwestern.

These guys, with the exception of Datzler, weren't blue-chip prospects. All were the type of three-star guys we signed last year and that we had a legitimate shot at signing.


B.J. Brinkerhoff said...

The *loss* of recruits is not really tied to CBJ's retirement. Dantzler had eliminated Vanderbilt well prior to CBJ's retirement. Crowder was thought to commit to UT as soon as they offered. Simon and Dickerson were never that intersted. Boyd may have been a potential commit but he committed on his official visit to Duke, so there's doubt he'd ever make it to VU's campus.

Anonymous said...

Not only does vandy need to win against northwestern to stay relevant in the recruiting battles, but I feel that they must likely go 2-2 over the 1st 4 games. While vandy is an attractive option for players who truly value thier education while playing sec football, unless they start out fairly strong, recruits will be concerned about coaching turnover and consecutive losing seasons. Obviusly, other schools will remind potential recruits of this as well as well. Caldwell needs to coach like his job (and jobs of the entire staff) depend on a winning season. They have talent; lets see if caldwell can win some of those many "close games" that Bobby Johnson is quoted as having lost (between 3-7 points). We need solid qb play this season and good offensive line play; running game and wr's will be our strongest positions this season.


Thanks for the comments.

BJ, do you know which potential recruits might be leaning toward Vandy right now?

Anonymous, what leads you to say our WRs will be among our strongest position players?

Anonymous said...

Dimon, Maybe im being too much of a vandy homer but I believe that our running game clearly was the strongest area last season. I feel that the wr's will be and are a strong area this season for 2 reasons; a) they were awful last season (only can get better) and b) with the strong recruiting class of wr's I believe the competition for playing time at wr and the pressure on all the wr's to perform this season make the case for a (pre-season prediction) area of strength. AS the season progresses, I hope I'm right. Go Dores!!!!

Will said...

I think we are losing another critical recruit...O-Line coach Herb Hand. CRC had stated that we were hopefully going to firm up the O-Line coaching vacancy by Monday 8-2, but I just checked coach Hand's Twitter feed, and no mention of VU. This hire would go a long ways in showing stability and surely help in the recruiting wars. I'm sure this is a tough call for Hand, but I am hoping we can make him an offer he can't refuse. He has good ties with our current staff and a very impressive resume as a recruiter, a coordinator and a technician...seems like a critical point in CRC's rein!!

Will said...

actually, reign!! I forgot this is a VU blog, so I need to tighten up my spelling!!


At least you know the difference. And I wonder if Hand perhaps is second-guessing whether he should work for a head coach who's job security is a bit uncertain.