Recruiting: Vanderbilt Commodores have options at defensive line

Nose guard commit Brandon Adams has flipped from Vanderbilt to Georgia Tech. What player will the Vanderbilt staff go after to replace Adams? Commodore recruiting analyst Chris Smith discusses several options for Vanderbilt.

Less two weeks remain until National Signing Day and the Commodores are still in search of recruits to finish out the 2016 class. They are now looking to add another prospect with the sudden de-commitment from local defensive tackle Brandon Adams flipping from the Commodores to Georgia Tech. The Brentwood Academy senior had been committed to Vanderbilt since July but after a surge of interest from multiple schools and a recent official visit to Georgia Tech, Adams decided it was best to take his talents out of state and continue his career in the ACC.

Vanderbilt now sits at 17 commitments with a few spots remaining. Adams de-commitment is a bit of a blow to the class because he was the lone prospect committed to play nose tackle and a guy seen as a possible perfect fit inside the Dores 3-4 defensive scheme. The Commodores coaching staff will now search around to see if they can find another guy suitable to play nose tackle in the 3-4 and if not, find a prospect that is talented enough to not only compete in the SEC but also handle the academics that Vanderbilt offers. The last weekend of official visits is upon us. Vanderbilt is not only set to bring in recruits but they are also targeting a few new prospects due to some openings within the class. Here are a few new targets to keep an eye.

(DE) Bryce Morais - 6’4 240 - Grayson (Ga) - Committed to Boston College - Morais has been committed to Boston College since March of last year but he has always had an open ear to others, including Vanderbilt. Two weeks ago, Morais took an official visit to Tennessee so he is open to other schools and possibly staying closer to home. Vanderbilt coaches have remained in contact for a while and have amped up their interest here recently. They are doing their best to get Morais on campus for an official visit this weekend. If they can get him on campus, they have a strong shot at flipping the Atlanta area lineman.

(DE) Jayden Palauni - 6’3 245 - Highland (UT) - A new prospect on the Commodores target list, Palauni is a violent pass rusher who has sat below the recruiting radar but could now be a guy of need for Vanderbilt. The Commodores have offered Palauni and there is a strong chance he will be in town this weekend for an official visit. Vandy is the lone offer for Palauni but the could change this week. Oregon State, Utah, Utah St and a few others are also interested. Palauni is an underrated lineman who could be a good addition to the class if all works out in the Commodores favor.

(DT) Kordell Looney - 6’3 285 - Springfield (OH) - Committed to Kentucky - It could be a long shot but Vanderbilt appears to be interested in Looney who has been committed to the Wildcats for quite some time now. Over the weekend, Looney took his official visit to Kentucky and by all info received, he appears to be solid to the Commodores SEC foe. Vanderbilt is doing their due diligence with Looney and seeing if he could be interested in giving the Commodores a chance. Vandy is in need of a defensive tackle and unlike his position with Kentucky, the Dores offer the possibility of early playing time. Looney does appear to be a long shot but, if you are Vanderbilt, why not try to uncover everything you can before signing day?

(DE/OLB) Arjay Jean - 6’4 230 - St. Thomas Aquinas (FL) - A bit of an unknown recruit, Jean has jumped onto the radar for Vanderbilt because of his quick first step and explosiveness going after the quarterback. A high school teammate of current Dores commit Frank Coppet, Jean looks the part of a college pass rusher and someone that would fit nicely into the Commodores 3-4 defense. No known offers at this time for Jean, look for this prospect to garner more attention throughout the week and someone you could see in town for Vanderbilt’s final official visit weekend.

(DT) Josiah Sa’o - 6’2 270 - Kearney (Ca) - There always appear to be someone that comes out of nowhere late in the recruiting process who turns out to be a steal. Sa’o could be that guy! Vanderbilt has reached out to this San Diego area lineman and the Dores appear to be interested enough to bring him in for an official visit. Sa’o has yet to receive a Division 1 offer but his talents are worthy. He is a powerful bull rusher and a guy who has no problem taking up space in the interior of the defensive line. He could be a decent fall back plan to the recent de-commitment from Brandon Adams. Look for more information to leak out on Sa’o throughout the upcoming week.

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