Landon Stokes commits to Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt strikes again at Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, Fla. Last year they got offensive lineman Blake Fromang for the Class of 2012. The staff secured a commitment on Tuesday from Landon Stokes, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound defensive end, who was on a campus visit with his father.

"I had it down to a couple of schools," said Landon Stokes, "but I didn't tell anybody. My top two were Clemson and Vanderbilt. The coaches really sold me on what they're trying to do here. I knew this was where I wanted to be even before the visit, but being here kind of sewed everything up.

"This morning I was watching film with Coach Franklin in his office. After we finished I let him know I was ready to commit. He was very excited. He's an emotional coach. We were giving each other high fives."

This was Stokes' first visit to the Vanderbilt campus and to the city of Nashville. Even though he reports 30 Division 1 offers, Stokes said he'll not make anymore visits besides a return trip to Vanderbilt.

"The campus is amazing," he said. "I haven't really been able to see much of Nashville, but people tell me it's an awesome place to live. What sold me the most [on the program] was, obviously, the academics. That was a big deal. The football team is building. The program is becoming something big. Last year's recruiting class was great and this year's is going to be even better.

"We're going to be leaving later in the afternoon. I'll definitely be back for my official visit this fall.

"Coach Bankins started recruiting me early. I got to know the coaches quickly and that played a big part in my decision, knowing they were there from the start.

"I had 30 offers, all from Division 1 programs. I can't remember then all but the top ones were Clemson, UConn, Illinois, Cincinnati, Missouri, Mississippi State, Duke, Ole Miss, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, Louisvile, and, of course, Vanderbilt.

"There's no need to take any more visits. Vanderbilt topped them all. This is where I know I need to be."

In addition to Vanderbilt ties with Blake Fromang, Stokes' basketball coach at Lake Highland Prep, Jeff Turner, is a Vanderbilt alumnus. His father, Fred, who Stokes said is "really excited" about his decision is a former NFL player with the Washington Redskins.

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