Vanderbilt in hunt for big Mississippi RB

Vanderbilt is expected to sign two running backs in the 2013 class. They received a commitment from tailback Johnathan Ford in April and have extended offers to many of the top national uncommitted remaining prospects at the position. One of those in the southeast to keep a close eye on is Ashton Shumpert who plays at Itawamba Agricultural (Miss.) High School in Fulton.

"I was supposed to camp [at Vanderbilt] but I banged my knee up a little so I just went and watched," said Ashton Shumpert. The visit was pretty nice. I got to talk to Coach Donovan, the running backs coach, as Coach Franklin. We had a cookout that was cool. I know some of the players from Mississippi like Tip McKenzie and Jahmel (McIntosh) so it was nice to catch up with them and get their take on the program.

"I'm being recruited by Coach (Derham) Cato. He said they love my size [at running back] and the way I play the game. I'm definitely considering Vanderbilt, but, right now, I'm still open with no favorites. If I commit before Signing Day, it will be during or after the season so I can take my official visits."

Shumpert, 6-foot-1, 210-pounds, holds offer from both Ole Miss and Mississippi State, where he camped on Friday, Georgia, Alabama, Vanderbilt, and Oklahoma State. He enjoyed a breakout sophomore season at Tupelo High School rushing for more than 1300 yards. Last season, he played both quarterback and running back but was hampered with a stress fracture in his lower leg and still had 930 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. This season he's back at Itawamba Agricultural where he played as a freshman.

"I've been working hard this summer," he said. "I think I had my best camp last Friday at Mississippi State. We start two-a-days on (July) 30th. I'm hoping to put up some big numbers and win a state championship like everybody does. I'm planning on playing mostly running back this year."

"Another reason I want to hold off on my commitment is I want to see how teams do this season. I'm looking to join a team with good chemistry and play for coaches who love their players."

Although he hasn't made a final decision on the matter, Shumpert says their a very good possibility he'll graduate high school early in December. In college, he'd like to major in Biology. Top Stories