2017 ATH Dayo Odeyingbo (Gabe Brooks / SCOUT)

Breaking down the Commodores 2017 recruiting class

Signing Day 2017 is over...well almost! Vanderbilt is looking to add a few more transfers over the next couple of weeks but their high school haul has been signed, sealed and delivered. Who is the top commit? Biggest Surprise? Find all this out right here!

National Signing Day has come and gone, which means it's time to focus on the 2018 recruiting class. Before we get there, let's look back at the Commodores 2017 signing class. 

Top Signee

www.scout.com/player/201512-dayo-odeyingbo

- This Ranchview (Tx) defensive lineman comes to Vandy with an already made college body and the line play that the Commodores staff needs and needs quickly. Vanderbilt was one of the worst pass rushing teams in 2017, so Odeyingbo could help this fall with that cause and could find himself in the starting lineup sooner than later. Odeyingbo is a stout guy who already has the strength and size to play this fall for the Dores.

Early Impact

www.scout.com/player/197749-dimitri-moore

- Moore is one of two early enrollees that will be competing this spring. The Texas linebacker is considered one of top prospects to sign with Vanderbilt this class and has the makings of an every down backer who could see the field early in 2018. Vanderbilt is running a little thin at inside linebacker after the departures of Zach CunninghamNigel Bowden and possibly even Jakarri Thomas. The Commodores do have some players ready to go this season but need depth badly and with Moore already on campus, he has a great opportunity at playing significant snaps this fall. 

Biggest Potential

www.scout.com/player/204756-jalen-pinkney

- I could honestly go in many directions with this but Pinkney to me has the biggest upside because not only does he have All-SEC potential but the abilities to possibly play in the NFL one day. Pinkney is an athletic freak who is still growing into his body and still learning the game of football. The Norcross pass rusher is a beast off the edge. Pinkney has great length, extremely long arms, a quick first step and the ability to play sideline to sideline. He could see himself red-shirt as a true freshman but in time, could be the Commodores top defensive player.

Biggest Get

www.scout.com/player/199376-michael-owusu

- Vanderbilt put in a lot of good work to bring in Owusu as they had to fight off late interest from the likes of USC, Michigan and Washington St to add the Oaks Christian (Ca) linebacker. Much like Pinkey, Owusu is a long, tall and athletic pass rusher that Vanderbilt wanted badly. The Dores pass rush has been lacking and Owusu brings the team the ability to rush the quarterback while also using his length and range to play in the open field. The Owusu family has strong ties with Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason and that relationship helped along the way as the Commodores are ecstatic about bringing in this future pass rushing linebacker. 

Top Position - Linebackers

- The offensive line came in a close second but you can't disregard the talent and depth collected at linebacker. Vanderbilt did an outstanding job of finding players who offer size, speed, pass rushing and open field awareness. Michael Owusu, Jared Pinkney (could move to DE), Brayden DeVault-Smith all give the Dores height, length and speed from the outside while Dimitri Moore, Colin Anderson and Feleti Afemui give stout run stuffing skills from the inside while also having the athleticism to play sideline to sideline. Vanderbilt did a great job of addressing needs at linebacker. They have great youthful depth now with some guys who not only could see the field this season but become significant players down the road.

Needs for 2018

- Vanderbilt did a great job of addressing needs in the 2017. They wanted more pass rushing and they go it. The offensive line needed depth added and they did it. Height and physicality was needed at the receiver position and they addressed it. Linebacker, the O-line and wide receiver was pinpointed and taken care of they way Vanderbilt wanted but in 2018, several positions on both offense and defense, will need to be valued. Good thing the Commodores have already taken care of the most important position on the field with quarterback Allan Walters. The New Jersey signal caller committed to the Dores late in 2017 and has already hit the ground running, chasing after other top recruits. The main positions to focus on in 2018 are running backs, tight ends, offensive line is always a need but depends on how many Vanderbilt wants to take. Interior defensive line will be focus as will the entire secondary. Vanderbilt only signed two cornerbacks in 2017 and one safety. Both positions will be a priority in 2018. As things stand right now, Vanderbilt could be signing a full class of 25 in 2018. All positions will be recruited and the 2018 class looks to be quite deep. 

The 2017 Class

- LB Feleti Afemui

- LB Colin Anderson

- OL Bryce Bailey

- WR James Bostic

- DE Jonah Buchanan

- OL Cole Clemens

- LB Brayden DeVault-Smith

- DE Stone Edwards

- QB Jacob Free

- CB Allen George

- CB Randall Haynie

- OL Grant Miller

- DE Dayo Odeyingbo

- LB Michael Owusu

- WR Chris Pierce

- DE/LB Jalen Pinkney

- OL  Jonathan Stewart

- RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn - Illinois


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