Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Vandy waiting on two recruits, and feeling better about the defensive line
As of 10:15 a.m. Central time, 15 guys have signed letters of intent to play at Vanderbilt. The only verbal commitments yet to sign are OT Larry Mazyck and TE Dillon van der Wal.
Both of them are big gets for us. At 6-7, 320 pounds, Mazyck would be our biggest player the second he sets foot on campus. And van der Wal would be the rare four-star athlete. The only four-star recruits we've had in recent memory are John Stokes, who's finished playing and is heading to medical school, and Rajaan Bennett, who signed last February and was dead weeks later.
I tell you, the best player in this class could be Barron Dixon, the Atlanta-area defensive lineman who had committed to Mississippi State before changing his mind and choosing the Dores. He's pictured above about to kill a ballcarrier.
Vandy's official signing day site lists Dixon at 6-4, 280 pounds. And most schools recruited him as a defensive end! Most of Vandy's defensive ends show up on campus barely tipping the scales at 200 pounds. (See Walker May two years ago and Jimmy Stewart this year.)
With Dixon, sophomore Jared Morse and redshirt freshmen Vince Taylor and Thomas Ryan — and maybe even James Kittredge, who played on the offensive line last season and who I'd like to see move back to D — we've got some impressive young SEC-caliber talent on the D line. These guys are versatile too, and could slide out to end. I'd like to see Taylor, who's 280 but can really move, get a shot at playing fullback (he ran the wildcat in high school) and maybe even middle linebacker.
We really need more bulk at end, and if Dixon and some of the other guys are as athletic as everybody says they could fit the bill. Speaking of which, I'd love to see Walker May get a crack at outside linebacker. Fresh signee Conor Hart looks like a nice prospect, and Kyle Woestmann should be ready to go after a redshirt year.