Vanderbilt Breakout Freshmen for 2015

The Vanderbilt Commodores are headed into the 2015 season looking to remake themselves. Vandy hopes to show the rest of the country that they are ready to compete and become relevant inside the Southeastern Conference. The Vandy coaching staff will be leaning on not just the veterans but several youngsters who have the capability to become stars and help lead the Commodores to a winning record.

If head coach Derek Mason and the rest of the coaching staff hope to have a successful 2015 season, they will need a mixture of proven veterans along with young players. These young men will need to step up their games and take that next step as a football player.

Here are the top five freshman players who have the potential to make an impact on the 2015 Vanderbilt football team. (Redshirt Freshman Included)

1. Ronald Monroe - Wide Receiver - 6’3 200 (RS/FR)
- Since arriving on campus Monroe has been viewed as a great overall athlete and someone you could plug into multiple positions. Coming out of high school as a quarterback Monroe quickly adjusted his talents to wide receiver and became a vastly discussed name among the 2014 Vanderbilt freshman. Last year, while redshirting, Monroe starred on the scout team for Vandy and showed his fellow teammates and coaches his abilities at receiver and the potential he had at that position. With Vanderbilt needing playmakers to step up for the 2015 season, Monroe could be the guy that takes that role and establishes himself among the Dores starting receiver rotation.

2. Riley Tindol - Defensive Line - 6’5 262 (RS/FR)
- Tindol was the last signee for Coach Mason's first signing class at Vanderbilt. An under the radar type prospect from Alabama, Tindol signed with Vandy and quickly showed on the practice field that his potential is strong and his abilities could be needed for the 2015 season. Tindol is a long, athletic and active defensive lineman who has added the needed weight and gained experience last year on the scout team. Vanderbilt runs only three down lineman in their 3-4 scheme, so depth is a big deal and something the Commodores need to have in order to be successful defensively. Tindol has all the capabilities of breaking out in 2015 and becoming a force along the 'Dore defensive line.

3. Khari Blasingame - Inside Linebacker - 6’1 228 (RS/FR)
- Blasingame originally signed with Vanderbilt as a safety but quickly made the transition to inside linebacker after hitting the gym and adding the needed weight to play his new position. The Alabama native has made a name for himself among his coaches and teammates for his feisty attitude and willingness to work. Blasingame has generated some good buzz with his performance on the scout team last year and his continued progress this year in the team’s offseason workouts. The linebacker position in general is the deepest group on the Vanderbilt roster, so it will be tough for Blasingame to find his niche on the 2015 team but his work ethic may say otherwise. Look for Blasingame to be a significant contributor on special teams and even work his way into the rotation at linebacker at some point in time during the 2015 season.

4. Donovan Sheffield - Cornerback - 5’11 182 (True Freshman)
- Vanderbilt is still so young that many true freshman may not see the field during the 2015 season. One player who could see the field and see it early and often, is Nashville native Donovan Sheffield. Coming from Ensworth, Sheffield has been a known name for some time now and his natural abilities at cover corner may be too good to keep off the field. Vanderbilt appears set at one cornerback position with Torren McGaster but opposite of him, nothing is set in stone. Sheffield will have to battle it out with veterans and other young corners for the starting position but his talents and natural skills may be too good to dismiss. Sheffield has the traits and talents of a lockdown cornerback and if he performs well during fall camp, he could find himself in the rotation to play as a true freshman.

5. Jaire George - Running Back - 6’1 218 (True Freshman)
- George was one of the last players to sign with Vandy for the 2014 class but he could be one of the true freshman that see’s playing time earlier than others. Vandy is set with Ralph Webb as their number one guy but depth behind him is needed and George offers not only the size wanted but the versatility as well. Dallas Rivers is Webb’s backup but other than those two, no one else is behind them ready to run the ball. Vandy will need a third guy on occasions and George may offer the best abilities to be that guy. What could land George on the field earlier than others is his ability to play fullback as well. Offensive Coordinator Andy Ludwig wants to instill the fullback into his offense and George gives Vandy the best option at that position. George could be the versatile guy in the backfield that can not only run the ball but also line up in front of Webb and Rivers to give them a big bruising blocker. George will have to battle things out with fellow true freshman Josh Crawford but the DeMatha Catholic product may have a leg up because of his overall size and skill set.

Others to Watch

* //>Josh Crawford - Running Back - 5’10 200 (True Freshman)

* Josh Smith - Linebacker - 6’3 236 (True Freshman)

* Rashad Canty - Wide Receiver - 6’3 205 (RS/FR)

* Darion DeBrossard - Nose Guard - 6’4 340 (True Freshman)

* Bryce Lewis - Cornerback - 6’0 180 (RS/FR)

* Dare Odeyingbo - Linebacker/Fullback - 6’2 252 (True Freshman)

* Kyle Shurmur - Quarterback - 6’4 226 (True Freshman) Top Stories