Kevin Joyce, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound linebacker from Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando Florida, made a verbal commitment Tuesday to play football at Vanderbilt, according to Bill Buchalter of the Orlando Sentinel.
Joyce, who made an official visit to Vanderbilt the weekend of Jan. 12, becomes the eleventh high school player to make a public commitment to be part of Coach Bobby Johnson's first recruiting class. Verbal commitments are not binding, but Joyce is expected to sign with the Commodores on Feb. 6.
Joyce, ranked 49th on the Orlando Sentinel's list of top players in Florida, narrowed his final choices to Vanderbilt and Boston College before choosing Vandy. He was also offered scholarships by Duke, Arkansas, Northwestern, North Carolina State and Central Florida, according to the Sentinel.
The Sentinel quoted Joyce as saying "[Vanderbilt] is the right place for me," citing Vanderbilt's academic-athletic environment and a new, energetic coaching staff.
Joyce, with 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash, played defensive end up until his senior year before switching to linebacker. He also played tight end on offense.
Rivals.com rated Joyce the number 58 outside linebacker prospect in the country. Another Florida newspaper, the Gainesville Sun, ranked him the number 50 prospect in Florida and called him "a relentless pursuer." He was twice named to the all-state team in Florida in class 2A.
Joyce bench presses 290 pounds, squats 400 and has a vertical leap of 36 inches. This past season he recorded 22 tackles for loss, including 13 sacks.
Vanderbilt's commitment list to date is as follows:
Chris Booker 6-3 220 LB Brandon-Northwest Rankin, MS
Steven Brent 6-4 275 OL Georgetown, TX
Steven Bright 6-4 205 QB Greer-Riverside, SC
Ray Brown 6-3 275 OG/DT Jackson Memorial, NJ
Erik Davis 6-3 180 WR Nashville-Ezell-Harding, TN
Adam Dossett 6-4 260 OL McComb-Parklane Academy, MS
Richard Freeman 6-4 230 DE Brentwood HS, TN
Herdley Harrison 6-1 203 DE/TE Marietta HS, GA
Patrick Johnson 5-10 170 PK Athens HS, AL
Kevin Joyce 6-3 205 LB Orlando-Lake Highlands Prep, FL
Brett Tobin 6-6 275 OL Green Bay-Pulaski, WI