©M. Samek / SCOUT

The Most Wanted: Top Ten Commodore Targets

The 2016 recruiting class for Vanderbilt is pretty much full with just a handful of scholarships remaining. Being such a small class hasn’t stopped the Commodore coaching staff from recruiting others and looking into new prospects.

Vanderbilt is still recruiting hard and keeping in touch with targets that have been at the top of their list throughout the entire process. The next few months will be big in recruiting for Vanderbilt with a few of their top targets set to make commitments.

Here are the Commodores “Most Wanted” targets and where things currently sit with their recruitments.

1. CB JoeJuan Williams - Hendersonville (TN)

- This local 4-star recently announced that he would make his official commitment on December, 6th but did not establish a final list of schools or who could possibly be in the lead. Williams has remained the Commodores top target the entire way and view him as a class game changer. Vanderbilt has put in a lot of effort with Williams and it seems it could be paying off. Williams has been on campus several times over the past couple of months and will more than likely be back for a game in the next month and a half. By many in the business, Vanderbilt is seen as a strong contender to land Williams. Along with the Commodores, Williams appears to also be considering Tennessee, Auburn, LSU, Notre Dame, Georgia and Penn State. Williams has already set an official visit with the Nittany Lions for November 21st. Look for Williams to announce the rest of his official visit plans sometime soon.

2. OT Grayson Stover - Hudson (FL)

- Things have been pretty quiet with Stover of late. Last month for the Georgia game, Stover officially visited Vanderbilt and then proceeded to officially visit Maryland two weeks later. Since then, he has been focusing on his senior season and not too much on recruiting. Well things pick back up for the 3-star tackle this weekend as he is set to officially visit the Indiana Hoosiers. The Indiana coaching staff has really picked up their interest in Stover and he is excited about seeing everything in Bloomington this weekend. The recent news of Maryland firing head coach Randy Edsall has not changed Stover’s mind on the Terrapins too much but it has tweaked some to where he is entertaining new schools. Stover informed me that Illinois is now on his radar and he is planning to officially visit them too but just hasn’t made the plans just yet. Vanderbilt is still viewed as a possible leader for Stover but he is taking his time and more than likely will not make a commitment until sometime in December.

3. RB Trevor Speights - Memorial (TX)

- Speights has established himself as the Commodores top running back target after sorting through several other guys and now it looks like the Commodores might have a good shot at the Texas 3-star runner. Speights has set only two official visits so far with Stanford and Texas A&M, with the trip to College Station coming this weekend. The Aggies and the Cardinal are viewed as the top two at this time but Vanderbilt has really came on strong of late to make themselves a contender as well. Oklahoma and Tennessee are two others he is looking at. Speights will more than likely take his other official visits before making a commitment and look for the Commodores to receive one of his final three.

4. OL/DL Coy Cronk - Central Catholic (IN)

- Vanderbilt targeted Cronk early in the process before his stock began to blow up. The Commodores have remained in the mix and by some, are seen as the team to beat. Indiana and few others may say otherwise. So far, Cronk has unofficially visited both the Hoosiers and Vandy and may take a few more visits before anything is settled. Cronk doesn’t appear to be in any rush to make decisions nor has stated when he wants to shut things down. While Cronk still looks through his recruitment, Vanderbilt has opened their eyes to other recruits which could land Cronk in a tough spot with the Commodores. Vandy has recently extended new offers to several other prospects, so they are preparing themselves in case Cronk wants to look elsewhere. Vandy would gladly take a commitment from Cronk if he wanted to come aboard but they are also not sitting back waiting for something to happen. Cronk remains a key target for Vandy and he could soon decide to set official visit plans with the Commodores.

5. OT Braden Kopp - Houston Christian (TX)

- Kopp is a fast rising prospect that has caught the eye of multiple college coaches, including the Vanderbilt Commodores. Just last week, Vanderbilt extended an offer to Kopp and the Houston tackle immediately placed the Commodores as his number one school. Vandy is in need of another tackle to add to this class and may even be looking to add two tackles. Even if Stover wants to commit to Vandy, I still think they would take Kopp as well. Vandy is lacking in depth at tackle, so it is a need position for the 2016 class. Kopp is becoming a hot prospect of late. Schools like Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Indiana, Wake Forest and a few others are showing interest.  Some could be close to popping on an offer. Kopp is expected to visit Vanderbilt next week for the Missouri game and it would not be far-fetched to see the Texas lineman commit to the Commodores.

6. WR Rontavius Groves - Pearl Cohn (TN)

- Groves is seen as the top uncommitted prospect from the Middle Tennessee area and Vandy has remained on his radar even though many other schools have been seen as bigger contenders. Vanderbilt coaches have remained in contact with Groves and the longer he keeps his process open, the more and more it looks like Vandy could actually contend for his signature. Groves is taking his time with his recruitment and honestly does not have any favorites at this time. West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Ole Miss are the four schools talked about the most with Groves but I wouldn’t be surprised to see other programs get involved before he shuts down his recruitment. Groves would be an excellent addition to Vanderbilt’s class but it looks like it will be a long time before the Nashville native makes any final decisions.

7. TE/DE Kelvin Lucky - Edgewood Academy (AL)

- This week, Vanderbilt became the first power five conference offer for Lucky and the Commodore's staff has been high on Lucky for some time now. A first year football player, Lucky is a raw but very talented prospect that could flourish into a fierce pass rusher at the collegiate level. Vandy noticed his abilities and offered thinking that they have a strong chance at landing Lucky. Georgia State and Troy are his other offers but soon enough, Lucky will see more and more offers come his way. Things seem to just now be ramping up for Lucky in his recruitment, so don’t expect him to make a commitment anytime soon. While I think Lucky is interested in Vandy, I get the sense that he could be waiting for other bigger schools to come calling.

8. ATH Ikenna Okeke - Smyrna (TN)

- A player that was once viewed as a top target for Vanderbilt, Okeke fell off the radar for a while due to the Commodores adding other defensive backs to their class but now it appears the Commodores are back in the thick of things. I recently caught up with Okeke.  He told me that he has been in contact with Vandy recently and admitted that he still does have interest in the Commodores. Okeke has taken a step back from his recruitment to focus on his season but now he is trying to get back into it and start looking deeper into the schools recruiting him. Texas A&M extended an offer last night and Okeke has official visits set with Notre Dame (this weekend) and Penn State on November 21st. Other new schools could come offering soon.  Right now there doesn’t appear to be any leaders or a set group of schools Okeke is focusing on. Vandy has a better shot than some people may think but it’s still a ways off from the Smyrna 3-star settling on one final school.

9. DE/OLB Christian Brooks- Centreville (VA)

- Vanderbilt evaluated Brooks early on and saw him as a guy who could fit their 3-4 defensive scheme. The recruiting stock for Brooks has skyrocketed over the last few months with several power five conference schools offering, including Vandy. Brooks is a 6’5 raw but talented defensive player that I believe sits lower on the Commodores radar than some others but could become a viable option if someone like Cronk decides to go elsewhere. Right now it doesn’t look like Brooks is ready to make any decisions. He plans to take several visits before making any decisions. There is a possibility that Brooks could be visiting Vanderbilt for either the Missouri or Kentucky game. Other than Vanderbilt, Brooks is mainly looking at California, Miami, Pittsburgh and Virginia.

10. WR Kaleb White - Pearland (TX)

- White is viewed as a bit of an under the radar type prospect that Vanderbilt sees as a definite division one recruit. Standing 6’2, White has the size and skill set to play on the next level but could be way down on the list of importance for Vanderbilt. Wide receiver is not a need position for this class, so White may be someone the Dores look into if other recruits decide to go elsewhere. Texas State is the only other official offer for White but soon enough, more schools will get involved.

*Extra*

** 4-star OT Clark Yarbrough - Woodberry Forest (VA)

- Yarbrough was once seen as one of the top targets for Vanderbilt until he committed to Stanford. Now it appears the Virginia lineman could be looking into other options and Vanderbilt looks to be one of those options. The Vanderbilt staff has been in contact with Yarbrough and they are working at convincing him to possibly visit and hopefully eventually switch his commitment. Yarbrough is an elite level talent that would fit the major need for a left tackle. Academics are a big deal for Yarbrough and I know from talking to him, he loved his visit to Vandy last summer and really enjoyed the coaching from Dores offensive line coach Keven Lightner. You never know what can happen but the possibility of adding Yarbrough is a big deal and the Commodores are pursuing to see if they can make it happen.


Commodores Daily Top Stories