Remember all the pleasant surprises we got the week leading up to James Franklin's first signing day? Remember all the kids who'd made commitments to places like Virginia Tech who suddenly decided to commit to Vanderbilt?
Just wait to see what happens these next two months leading up to signing day. James Franklin is on a roll. The guy gets blown out by Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and on the way home he's calling recruits to ask them if they have what it takes to beat the Tide. Then he starts going toe-to-toe with Georgia and Arkansas and beating teams he should beat (Army) and walloping teams he's supposedly dead-even with (Kentucky and Wake Forest). He even turns a potentially demoralizing loss in Knoxville into a motivational tool.
Yes, he's leaving wounds open. No, this isn't the same old Vandy. Yes, he's staying in Nashville because he's creating a winning culture here and he loves his players.
Bobby Johnson steadily improved the quality and depth of talent at Vandy, and then Franklin arrived and said it wasn't good enough and now he's competing for players we never dreamed of getting, including the No. 1 quarterback in America.
And the exciting thing is, we believe he'll know what to do with all this talent when he gets it. Yes, it takes more than talent to win. Just ask the Vanderbilt basketball team, which is loaded with four- and five-star talent and doesn't know how to finish games, rise to the occasion, make clutch plays, or beat teams they're supposed to beat.
But that's another subject. There are no moral victories in Vanderbilt basketball, just like there will soon be no moral victories in Vanderbilt football.
(Sure, James Franklin says there are no moral victories, but the day he stops talking about how his margin of loss against top teams is getting smaller is the day when there are no more moral victories in Vanderbilt football, which will also be the day we'll need to reconsider the name of our blog.)
Anyway, we've got a big-league recruiter who plays to win. Is this a great time to be a Vandy football fan or what?