The Anchor Insider - 7/7/2015

While the Vanderbilt coaching staff remains active with recruiting, the summer is coming to an end and everything will begin to focus on training camp and the upcoming season.

Vandy currently has eight commitments with only eight spots remaining in the 2016 class. Expect the staff to be a bit picky with the remaining spots but they do have some guys at the top of their list that they are pursuing more than others.

Today’s “Anchor Insider” breaks down the top prospects on both sides of the ball along with names Vanderbilt fans need to focus on in the next couple of months.

OFFENSIVE PROSPECTS

Overview: Vanderbilt is set at quarterback with Deuce Wallace in the fold. The Dores have Sam Brodner committed for running back but they are wanting to add an additional back to the group. Donaven Tennyson is the lone wide receiver committed but is a good one to have. Look for Tennyson to play the slot so Vandy could be looking to add another receiver, especially to play on the outside. Tight end is not a need position for 2016 but there is one particular recruit out there the coaches are actively pursuing. Devin Cochran is a major addition for Vandy at offensive tackle but the staff isn’t done with that position. They would like to add another edge guy in this class and they are looking at several options.

(RB) Damarea Crockett - 5’11 206 - Little Rock Chrst. Acad (AR)
- Crockett could be the top overall target on offense currently for Vanderbilt and the staff in whole is going after him very hard. Many people believe Crockett is waiting on Arkansas to offer but that is not stopping Vandy from pursuing him. The staff wants to add one more running back to the class and Crockett appears to be their guy. Arizona State, Boise State, Oklahoma State and Arkansas along with Vandy look to be the top schools for Crockett at this time.

(OT) Zach Adams - 6’7 310 - Riverbend HS (VA)
- Adams could be a long shot for Vanderbilt but from talking around, the Commodore coaching staff has the Virginia tackle at the top of their list. Adams is a large lineman that fits the mold of the edge guy the staff is looking for. The Vanderbilt coaches have been in active contact with Adams and are pursuing him with everything they got. Penn State, Virginia, Texas and West Virginia look to have an edge right now but the longer his recruitment plays out, the more of an opportunity Vandy will have.

(TE) Jordan Wilson - 6’5 215 - MBA (TN)
- Wilson has been the fastest rising recruit from the state of Tennessee this summer and his stock will only continue to grow as his senior season gets started. Vandy has been after the MBA product for a while and the Dores remain at the top of his list. Others like UCLA, USC, Missouri and North Carolina are hot on his trail as well. Wilson is taking his time with his recruitment. Vandy has a great shot at landing the native Nashvillian but can they keep other top programs from landing him?

(OT) Keaton Bills - 6’5 270 - Corner Canyon HS (UT)
- Vanderbilt was one of the first schools to offer Bills and the Dores remain a key player for this lineman as of today. Bills still holds four official offers but that could easily change in due time. Bills is a long and athletic tackle prospect with a lot of potential. Look for his recruitment to drag out but Vandy will remain a top school on his list as his senior season plays out.

(WR) C.J. Windham - 6’3 190 - McEachern HS (GA)
- Windham recently camped at Vanderbilt where he impressed many in attendance, including the Vanderbilt coaching staff. The Dores have yet to offer Windham but that could change in time. The Peach state receiver has the size and strength Vandy is looking for. He could be a good compliment to Tennyson on the outside. Windham holds nine college offers with his biggest ones coming from Tulane and MTSU among others. If or when Vandy decides to offer, the Dores could become to the team to beat for Windham.

(WR) C.J. Riley - 6’4 180 - North Broward Prep (FL)
- Vanderbilt has officially offered this 6’4 receiver and sits among Riley’s top four schools. Along with Vanderbilt, Riley has the Dores along with West Virginia, UCF and Rutgers among his top four. Many feel that UCF is the team to beat but according to intel. Riley has strong feelings about Vandy and could be in to visit sometime very soon. Windham and Riley appear to be the top two choices for Vandy and if Riley decides to go elsewhere, Windham may become the guy.

Others To Watch

* (RB) A.J. Taylor - 5’11 190 - Rockhurst HS (MO)

* (RB/FB) Tre Nation - 6’0 220 - Leeds HS (AL)

* (RB) Jordan Bentley - 6’0 210 - Guntersville Sch (AL)

* (OL) Tyler Harris - 6’6 310 - Madison-Ridgeland HS (MS)

* (RB) Tyler Tutt - 5’10 205 - Keller HS (TX)

* (WR) Phillip Patterson - 6’2 180 - Bayside HS (VA)

DEFENSIVE PROSPECTS

Overview: Vanderbilt has four players committed for the 2016 class on defense and are looking to add to this side of the ball going forward. Linebacker looks to be the main focus but some of their top targets overall still remain uncommitted and at the head of Vanderbilt’s list. The defensive line has been pursued hard with commitments from Cameron Tidd and Drew Birchmeier. Vandy is not done with the defensive line as they are still looking to add a nose tackle. Tidd and Birchmeier are being projected to play defensive end in the Dores 3-4 scheme so they still need a big man in the middle. Vandy has also added to the secondary with Austin Quillen and Frank Coppet. The Dores are looking for more help in secondary whether it be a true cover corner or something versatile enough to play cornerback or safety. Outside linebacker more so than inside linebacker is biggest focus of the staff going forward. Vandy is looking to add some pass rushers and they have their eyes on a select few guys. Look for more prospects at this position to jump onto the recruiting board as football season is around the corner.

(CB) JoeJuan Williams - 6’2 195 - Hendersonville HS (TN)
- Williams is the overall #1 target on Vanderbilt’s recruiting board right now, regardless of position. Vandy has been after Williams going on two years and to this day, the 4-star defensive back remains uncommitted. Williams does plan to cut his list down to a top 6 in the next few weeks and Vanderbilt is expected to make that list. Many feel that Tennessee, Penn State, LSU and Auburn stand a stronger shot at landing Williams but he still has warm feelings as well about the Commodores. Williams would be a huge addition to the class if Coach Mason and the staff can reel him in.

(S) Ikenna Okeke - 6’2 200 - Smyrna HS (TN)
- The recruitment of Okeke has ramped up dramatically over the past several months and it seems he could be close to springing on a commitment. Many feel the Smyrna 3-star is close to committing to Notre Dame and that very well could happen but that doesn’t mean the Commodores are completely out of it. The Irish are close to landing several other defensive back prospects and that could take a spot away from Okeke. Vanderbilt has been after Okeke for a while and have him at the top of their defensive recruiting board, Okeke’s recruitment will be an interesting one to follow from here on out.

(OLB) Stephen Moye - 6’4 230 - Parkview HS (GA)
- Vanderbilt has been after Moye longer than anybody and to this day, still remains a strong player for him and might even be the team to beat. At this current time, Moye has Vanderbilt and Virginia at the top but has no time frame on making a decision. Moye is a strong and athletic pass rusher with loads of potential. Vanderbilt would be elated to add a player like Moye to the class. He may be the top pass rushing prospect on Vandy's board.

(Ath) Noah Fant - 6’6 210 - Omaha South HS (NE)
- Along with Vanderbilt, Fant also has Nebraska and Iowa at the top of his list. Fant camped and visited with Vanderbilt earlier this summer and came away very impressed with what he saw. The Dores remain a key player in his recruitment but Fant appears to be cool with where his recruitment stands right now. Some people inside this business feel that Nebraska is the team to beat. Vanderbilt is still right there and it would be a major get if the Dores could land Fant.

(S) Traveon Redd - 5’11 180 - Magna Vista HS (VA)
- Redd has virtually cut his list down to Illinois, Indiana, Vanderbilt, West Virginia and Wake Forest. Vandy has high interest in adding Redd but only if Williams or Okeke, turns them down. The staff may still take Redd if he wants to head to Nashville. The Virginia safety has strong feelings about the Commodores. Redd has even stated how he wants to get away from home but also be on campus inside a city that appeals to him. He really enjoyed his visit when he toured Vanderbilt earlier this summer. Look for Redd to make his commitment within the next couple of weeks.

(Ath) Jordan Mack - 6’2 185 - Wesleyan Sch (GA) *Committed to Virginia*
- Even though Mack is currently committed to the Cavaliers, the 3-star recruit has been in contact with Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech and could be a strong candidate to flip his decision somewhere down the road. The Vandy staff has remained in contact with Mack and still loves his abilities and talents on the next level. Mack could be a part of the 2nd tier group with Redd behind Williams and Okeke but still might have a spot anyways because of his size and versatility. Don’t look for Mack to make any final decisions soon which could be a good thing for Vandy in the long run.

(DT) Alex Criddle - 6’4 310 - Edison Prep (OK)
- Criddle recently camped and visited Vanderbilt and by all indications, the Oklahoma tackle very much enjoyed his visit and could have the Dores as his current team to beat. Intel suggests that Criddle may make a decision with his recruitment at the beginning of September but even if commits, he may keep his ears open to some bigger schools in the Midwest. Criddle is a load at nose guard and sits as the Dores top recruit at his position. Criddle is also a strong student inside the classroom so he fits the mold of a Vanderbilt student. The Dores right now look like the team to beat but always in recruiting, things can change at the drop of a dime.

(DT) Coy Cronk - 6’5 270 - Central Catholic HS (IN)
- Vanderbilt recently offered Cronk along with a few others and now is pursuing the Indiana lineman with strong intentions. He could be visiting campus this week or next. Cronk is a big, athletic lineman that is being recruited by multiple teams for both sides of the ball. Vanderbilt is actually recruiting Cronk for the defensive line but if brought in, he could easily switch to the offensive line if needed. Right now it looks like Indiana and Vanderbilt are the top two schools for Cronk with the possibility of him committing before the start of his senior year.

Others To Watch

* (DE) Andrew Fitzgerald - 6’5 245 - Marcus HS (TX)

* (DE/OLB) Bryce Morais - 6’4 240 - Grayson HS (GA) Committed to Boston College *

* (DE) Jake Burton - 6’6 250 - Granite Hills HS (CA)

* (S) Chacho Ulloa - 6’0 190 - Centennial HS (CA)

* (DT) Jeremy Darvin - 6’3 280 - Father Ryan HS (TN)

* (DT) Brandon Adams - 6’0 290 - Brentwood Acad (TN)

* (DL) Jovan Swann - 6’3 255 - Center Grove HS (IN)

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