Vanderbilt football recruiting reverts to pre-Franklin level, which could be really good

Derek Mason and his staff have beefed up their recruiting class but have not moved Vanderbilt back up in the national recruiting rankings.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the eve of national signing day, Mason and his coaches had commitments from 18 players, twice as many as the low point following the wave of defections that came in the wake of former coach James Franklin’s move to Penn State.

Whereas Franklin’s expected class universally was rated among the top 30, none of the primary recruiting rankings have the Commodores among the top 50.

VANDERBILT RECRUITING CLASS RANKS

24/7 SPORTS
Rank: 56th
Just behind: Georgia Tech
Just ahead of: Iowa State
5-star commits: 0
4-star commits: 1
3-star commits: 13

SCOUT.COM
Rank: 61st
Just behind: Purdue
Just ahead of: Wake Forest
5-star commits: 0
4-star commits: 1
3-star commits: 11

RIVALS.COM
Rank: 74th
Just behind: Purdue
Just ahead of: Western Kentucky
5-star commits: 0
4-star commits: 2
3-star commits: 9

It is worth noting, though, that the current class bares a striking resemblance, in terms of the ratings, to Vanderbilt’s 2010 class, the last one before Franklin came aboard.

Rivals ranked that one 61st with an average recruit rating of 2.79, only slightly higher than this year’s 2.76. It included zero five-star players, one four-star and 17 three-star prospects.

Scout.com considered it the 54th best class with a 2.44 average rating, well below the 2.72 average of the current group. None of the players were considered five or four-star recruits. A dozen were three-star players.

In case anyone has forgotten, the 2010 class included wide receiver Jordan Matthews, safety Kenny Ladler, linebacker Karl Butler (he was a defensive back in high school), cornerbacks Steven Clarke and Andre Hal, defensive tackles Jared Morse and Vince Taylor, wide receivers Jonathan Krause and Chris Boyd, kicker Carey Spear and quarterback Jordan Rodgers as well as others who made and continue to make significant contributions to the current success of the program.

Much will be made about the fact that this year’s recruiting class doesn’t measure up to the three Franklin landed while he coached the Commodores. Last year’s, for example, included seven Rivals four-star prospects.

It is likely, though, that no program has proved more definitively in recent years that it’s what those players become rather after signing day rather than how they are viewed on that day that matters most.

Feb 4, 2014 3:31 PM

247Sports hooks up with CBS

Brentwood's 247Sports.com will be CBS' official recruiting partner. CBSSports.com will pull in a number of 247Sports features, including the 247Composite Team Recruiting Ranking, the Crystal Ball commitment prediction engine and Recruiter Rankings.

“247Sports’ founders are leaders in the recruiting space, and we’re thrilled to partner more closely with them to deliver the highest quality recruiting content to our audience,” said Jason Kint, Senior Vice President and General Manager of CBSSports.com. "We've already seen success with our recent collaboration for the 2013 National Signing Day, which fueled growth across the site.”

247Sports content will be featured on a 24/7/365 “Signing Day” page on CBSSports.com, which will serve as the home for live and on-demand video, as well as the MaxWire National Blog on MaxPreps. CBSSports.com will also be the exclusive advertising sales partner for 247Sports.

SEE ALSO: Our mid-2011 magazine feature on 247Sports' launch and growth

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