Vanderbilt Anchor Insider - 9/30/2015

The first quarter of the 2015 season is over and the Vanderbilt staff, while focusing on their season, is also keeping their eyes focused towards their recruiting efforts. Vanderbilt is not done adding to the class. Inside are the top remaining targets are and some others to keep an eye on. Also inside are a few looks at some underclassmen that already have high interest in the Commodores.

Last weekend while in Oxford, the Commodores received their 11th commitment of the 2015 class when 4-star safety Zaire Jones publicly committed to Vanderbilt. Jones is a huge addition and someone that gives the 2015 class some credibility and a player that can make an impact on the secondary in the near future.

The Top Three

The 2015 class was always seen to be small but it’s turning into a small class full of quality prospects that could turn out to be difference makers. Adding Zaire Jones was huge but Vanderbilt may not be done adding prospects of Jones caliber.

Here are the top three remaining targets and where everything currently sits between them and the Commodores.

* 4-star CB JoeJuan Williams - Hendersonville (TN)

- Williams has been sidelined for his senior season due to being ineligible but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t remained active with his recruitment. His plan is to enroll early at his future college, so he is trying to put the finishing touches on his recruitment during the next two months. Williams has yet to take an official visit but has been to a few games thus far. The 4-star defensive back has taken in games at Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Auburn last weekend. Look for Williams to attend a few more games in the near future and may even be back to Vanderbilt’s campus sometime soon.

The Commodores have become strong contenders for Williams as things have progressed. Many behind the scenes feel that Vanderbilt may even be the team to beat. Other SEC programs like Tennessee, Auburn, LSU and maybe even Georgia are still in the thick of things but Vandy has started to distance themselves a little bit. Williams is high on the Commodores academics and the ability to stay close to home. The Vanderbilt defense has also impressed Williams and the local 4-star see’s the possibility of early playing time down on West End.

Look for Williams to take official visits sometime in the near future but there are also rumblings of him narrowing things down and even making a decision within the next month.

* 3-star OT Grayson Stover - Hudson (FL)

- Vanderbilt has already hosted Stover for his official visit and by all accounts, things went over very well between the Commodores and the big offensive tackle. Stover is not ready to announce a commitment until his takes all his official visits. He is still set to officially visit Maryland, which by some people are seen as the favorite. Indiana is also in the works to get an official visit but by everything I am hearing, Maryland and Vanderbilt appear to be the two contenders to land Stover.

The Florida tackle is Vanderbilt’s number one target for the offensive line going forward but they are prepared to move on to others if Stover decides to go elsewhere. The Vanderbilt coaches feel confident in pulling in Stover but they have others they are looking at as well, if or when the 3-star lineman chooses to commit somewhere else.

* 3-star Lineman Coy Cronk - Central Catholic (IN)

- Cronk is a rising name from the Midwest that Vanderbilt appeared to jump in early on before his profile began to pick up steam. The 3-star Indiana native is a two way lineman that could play offensive tackle or defensive line in college. The Commodores are recruiting Cronk to play defense and believe his long arms, pure strength and natural athleticism fits their style of play on the defensive line.

Cronk took an unofficial visit to Nashville on September 12th, when the Commodores faced off against the Georgia Bulldogs. The Hoosier State lineman really enjoyed his time on campus and was excited to see such a great game between two SEC programs. Vanderbilt is in a fight though with Indiana along with the possibility of others throwing their hats in the ring because Cronk has become a hot name and someone with the versatility to play on either side of the ball.

This weekend, Cronk is taking an unofficial visit to Indiana and right now, it is unknown when he will be ready to announce a commitment. Vanderbilt does feel pretty good about their chances with landing Cronk and he would be a welcomed addition because of his potential on defense.

Keep your ears open on these guys……

* 3-star RB Trevor Speights - Memorial (TX)
Considering; Oklahoma, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt

* 3-star OT Brandon Walton - Seminole (FL)
Considering: Vanderbilt, Cincy, USF, UCF, Kentucky and others

* 3-star DT Jovan Swann - Center Grove (IN)
Considering: Stanford, Northwestern, Indiana, Michigan State, Illinois, Iowa and Vanderbilt

* 3-star DE/OLB Christian Brooks - Centreville (VA)
Considering: Cal, Miami, Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt and Virginia

* 3-star WR Kaleb White - Dawson (TX)
Considering: Vanderbilt and others

* OT Braden Kopp - Houston Christian (TX)
Considering: Army, Penn, Oklahoma State, Rice and Vanderbilt

* RB Eric Clayburn - Midway (TX)
Considering: Army, Navy, Colorado St, Michigan State, MTSU, Northwestern, Rice and Vanderbilt.

A little on Kopp & Clayburn

- Both Braden Kopp and Eric Clayburn are two under the radar talents from the state of Texas that the Vanderbilt staff has taken an interest in and both appear to be back up plans in case something happens with other targets. Kopp is actually set to visit Vanderbilt on October 17th when the Commodores host Missouri. Kopp is a 6’6 285 former basketball player that has high interest in Vanderbilt and if they decided to offer, he would immediately make a commitment.

Clayburn is a rising running back with good size at 5’11 185 pounds that has jumped onto the radar of multiple college programs, including Vanderbilt. He has yet to set a visit to Nashville but is looking to make a trip sometime in the near future. Vandy has not offered Clayburn but that could change if he is able to make it to campus.

A look into the Future……

- I was able to catch up with 2017 Oakland (TN) safety Kaleb Oliver recently and he told me that has been in contact with Vanderbilt and does have interest in the Commodores program. Oliver unofficially visited Vandy for their home opener against Western Kentucky and had a good time. He is still in the early stages of his recruitment but is having a strong junior season that will eventually propel him onto multiple college football coach’s radars. Look for him to visit Vandy again soon along with other visits to possibly Notre Dame and Purdue.

- 2017 Hillsboro (TN) DT Ben Hutch has quietly become a top target for Vanderbilt in next year’s class and his stock as a recruit is rising as well. Right now, the 3-star lineman holds five SEC offers from Kentucky, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt but more offers could be on the way. Hutch is having a strong junior campaign and his performance on the field will lead to more offers. Hutch has visited Vanderbilt already this season and look for him to return either for the Missouri or Kentucky home game.

- A few weeks ago, 2017 Cedar Shoals (GA) S Ryan Huff was supposed to visit Vanderbilt for its home game versus Georgia but he was unable to make it due to car trouble. Huff is another rising prospect that has found himself on the Commodores radar and a guy you could see land multiple college offers within the next few months. Huff has outstanding size and reminds me a little of current Commodores safety Emmanuel Smith. Huff is big enough to play linebacker if he continues to grow but also has the speed, length and athleticism to play safety of even the hybrid rover position in a 3-4 defense. Huff does hold current offers from Appalachian State, Charlotte, Georgia Southern and Georgia State but bigger schools like Georgia, Georgia Tech, Michigan State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt are interested as well. Look for Huff to eventually make it to Nashville to see Vanderbilt later this season.

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