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Thursday, February 4, 2010
Recruiting rewind: Vanderbilt

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Vanderbilt Commodores

The class

Recruits: 24 (23 high school seniors, one enrolled early, and one junior college player, who also enrolled early).

Top prospects: Running back Rajaan Bennett is big enough and physical enough to play right away. Defensive lineman James Kittredge was an Under Armour All-American and will probably grow into a tackle in college. Vanderbilt beat Arkansas, Auburn and Florida State for defensive tackle Jared Morse, while Karl Butler has a chance to play early at cornerback, nickel and on special teams.

Sleepers: Local product Fitz Lassing got his offer a day before signing day, but could end up playing linebacker, fullback or tight end in college. Chase Garnham has the kind of speed at linebacker the Commodores love.

Needs met: Vanderbilt stocked up on offensive and defensive line types. Nine of the Commodores’ signees are ticketed to play in the trenches. It remains to be seen if the big-play receiver they so desperately need is in this class. Maybe Jordan Matthews is that guy.

Analysis: Bobby Johnson has upgraded Vanderbilt’s talent every year he’s been on the job, and he thinks this is his most talented class yet. That’s despite having six decommitments since the end of the season. Getting another quarterback to push Larry Smith this spring was huge. Junior college newcomer Jordan Rodgers, the younger brother of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, is already enrolled in school. The addition of Bennett gives the Commodores a bruising presence in an already talented offensive backfield. We’ll find out soon enough who in this class can make a play in the passing game, because the Commodores need all the help they can get in that area.

Scouts Inc. grade: C

What Bobby Johnson said: