August 19, 2010

The Vandy Ten

The Vanderbilt football program enjoyed a banner year in recruiting in 2010. Signing what was considered the best class in the recent history of the school, Vanderbilt added over 24 potential impact players that could find ways onto the field for the Black and Gold during the 2010 football season.



The Commodore staff, now led by interim head coach Robbie Caldwell, is expected to sign a much smaller class for the 2011 recruiting period, with no more than 15 scholarships expected to be available. The Commodore coaches plan to address a few key areas including the offensive line, defensive end, running back, quarterback and linebacker.



The staff picked up its first public commitment in late May when Arlington (Tenn.) offensive tackle James Lewis informed Rivals.com of his commitment. He should be joined by at least three or four more offensive line prospects during this recruiting period. The staff also picked up promising 6-foot-3 quarterback Damien Fleming of Jacksonville (Fla.)'s Ribault High. The athletic signal caller may be joined later on in the class by another passer as the Commodores appear to be in the market for two players at the quarterback position. Now, the Commodores are waiting on several prime targets at other positions to make a decision as well.



As part of our recruiting coverage, VandySports.com has monitored the recruiting activity for most of the Commodores targets and has compiled an updated list of the top prospects for the Vandy Ten for the Class of 2011.



The VandySports.com Vandy Ten list is based on a combination of Rivals.com impact projections, Vanderbilt's level of interest, perceived position needs for the Commodores, VandySports.com's own impact projections, and the individual prospects perceived level of interest in the 'Dores.



It's VandySports.com's policy to not list any prospect that has committed to another program unless they are considered a soft verbal and has given major public attention to the Commodores.



Now, see which prospects made the cut in the fourth edition of the Vandy Ten rankings.




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style="vertical-align: top; background-color: #C7A317; color: 000000; text-align: center;">Athlete

style="vertical-align: top; background-color: #C7A317; color: 000000; text-align: center;">Prospect Bio & Notes

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V10

style="vertical-align: top; background-color: CCCCCC;">style="vertical-align: top; background-color: CCCCCC;">style="font-weight: bold;">Ameer Abdullah
Homewood, Ala. • RB

5-9 175 pounds
style="vertical-align: top; background-color: CCCCCC;">Emerging all-purpose back has turned heads at virtually every camp or combine he's been to this offseason. Abdullah has a quick cutting ability and vision and speed to break through the tightest of holes. He also has good strength for his size. As a junior, he rushed for over 1,400 yards and 14 scores and caught nearly 25 passes for an average of 10 yards. Vanderbilt offered when the Alabama standout camped a month and the Commodores appear to be in good shape at this time. Ole Miss and Texas A&M and others have also reportedly offered.

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V10

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style="vertical-align: top; background-color: FFFFFF;">style="font-weight: bold;">Jake Bernstein
Crystal Lake, Ill. • OG

6-4 275 pounds
style="vertical-align: top; background-color: FFFFFF;">One of the top interior linemen in Illinois, Bernstein has emerged on the national scene with recent offers from the likes of Vandy, Arizona, Colorado, Cincinnati and Illinois. A powerful blocker with good hands and technique, Bernstein could project as either guard or center at the next level. Visited Vanderbilt back in June and came away very impressed. He also visited Iowa and Illinois. He planned to make a decision in July but it appears he is pushing things back a while. Vandy still looks to be in good shape.

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V10

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style="vertical-align: top; background-color: CCCCCC;">style="font-weight: bold;">Kentrell Brothers
Guthrie, Okl. • LB

6-0 210 pounds
style="vertical-align: top; background-color: CCCCCC;">Athletic linebacker is one of Oklahoma's better overall prospects this year. Plays close to the scrimmage and attacks very quickly. Also plays well in space. Brothers has picked up offers from nearly every BCS conference and is among one of VU's top defensive targets. Plans to visit Vanderbilt this summer and appears to have a good bit of interest in the Commodores. Brothers has also visited a number of other programs, but hasn't really named a top group of teams. He's looking for a good blend of academics, coaching and playing style. He would be considered a huge haul for VU.

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V10

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style="vertical-align: top; background-color: FFFFFF;">style="font-weight: bold;">Courtney Bynes
Lauderdale Lakes, Fla. • WR/ATH

5-10 170 pounds
style="vertical-align: top; background-color: FFFFFF;">One of south Florida's most underrated prospects, Bynes has the look of a definite SEC playmaker. Quickness and explosive burst make him ideal for a slot or flanker position but he could be a very effective corner as well. Has collected nearly 10 offers from various schools in the SEC, ACC, Big Ten and Big East but appears to be down to Vanderbilt and Duke, with a decision reportedly coming within the month. He is a former football and track teammate of incoming Commodore freshman Steven Clarke. Bynes has been one of Vanderbilt's main targets since the recruiting period began and he's slated to visit the school for the first time in July.

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V10

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style="vertical-align: top; background-color: CCCCCC;">style="font-weight: bold;">Curt Evans
Hollywood, Fla. • ATH

6-0 173 pounds
style="vertical-align: top; background-color: CCCCCC;">"Spiffy" is one of the Sunshine state's most exciting players for 2011. Quick with a explosive burst and the ability cut on a dime, Evans could project to either receiver or running back in college. Vanderbilt has been interested since day one and has made him a priority. Over 20 other schools have offered. VU seems to be in good shape, seeming to really make an impression on the young man. He plans to take an official visit to the school this fall and is currently working on a final 10 list of schools. The Dores appear to be firmly on that 10. He has set no time table for a decision. One of VU's overall top targets.

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V10

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style="vertical-align: top; background-color: FFFFFF;">style="font-weight: bold;">D.J. Hill
Covington, Ga. • RB/LB

6-1 215 pounds
style="vertical-align: top; background-color: FFFFFF;">A two-way prospect, Hill has the Commodores interested on both sides of the ball. Ideal size as a power running back and great instincts for a linebacker, Hill gives the kind of versatility that VU and other schools like Ole Miss, Virginia and South Carolina covet. Hasn't stated a favorite but plans to visit a Vanderbilt camp in July as well as Virginia. Auburn, South Florida and Georgia Tech are also involved. Vandy was one of the first to be interested and they are expected to be among his final schools come decision time.

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V10

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style="vertical-align: top; background-color: CCCCCC;">style="font-weight: bold;">Derek King
Brentwood, Tenn. • ATH

5-11 190 pounds
style="vertical-align: top; background-color: CCCCCC;">Local talent plays with a lot of speed and versatility and could make a difference with the ball in his hands as a running back or receiver, or as a possible future cover corner. Possesses a good sound frame and smooth hips. King burst onto the recruiting scene in March, popping up with four quick SEC offers and it appears as though that's where he plans to end up. Vanderbilt's been involved from the start and King seemed to be comfortable at the campus a few weeks ago in VU's 7-on-7 Tournament. Was named MVP of the event. King's looking at other programs like Tennessee, Ole Miss and Auburn. No time table has been set on a decision.

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V10

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style="vertical-align: top; background-color: FFFFFF;">style="font-weight: bold;">Shaq Love
Harriman, Tenn. • OL/DL

6-5 270 pounds
style="vertical-align: top; background-color: FFFFFF;">Two-way lineman may not be rated by Rivals at this time but may have as much upside potential as any "combo" lineman in the southeast. Love brings rare athleticism for his size, bringing flexibility, quick feet and good overall bend to the offensive tackle position. Not even 17 years old yet, Love has a great frame as well and should have no problem putting on even more size and strength in college. Vanderbilt offered in June and several other schools such as Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, MTSU and others. He has stated no favorites though Vanderbilt is believed to be in good contention. Other SEC programs are looking as well.

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V10

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style="vertical-align: top; background-color: CCCCCC;">style="font-weight: bold;">Cody Robinson
McMinnville, Tenn. • OG

6-4 306 pounds
style="vertical-align: top; background-color: CCCCCC;">Tough, in-state lineman might be one of the best overall prospects in Tennessee. Robinson is built like a bull, dominating all competition at the high school level. Has the athleticism to get out and pull and make things happen with his feet. Visited the VU campus during the spring, and camped with the program during one of it's June camps. Vandy seems to be in very good shape with Robinson, and the Commodore staff and current players have made him feel wanted. May be VU's top overall target at this time. He plans to make a choice prior to his senior year as well.

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V10

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style="vertical-align: top; background-color: FFFFFF;">style="font-weight: bold;">Jordan Walsh
Glen Ellyn, Ill. • OL

6-3 275 pounds
style="vertical-align: top; background-color: FFFFFF;">Skilled Illinois interior lineman is one of the nation's top guard prospects. Received a offer from the Commodores a few months ago and though he still hasn't visited the Nashville campus, he currently has VU in his final seven. Plans to visit the school in July and is said to have a strong interest in playing in the SEC and going to a high academic school. A tremendous blocker with athletic feet, Walsh could have an immediate impact at virtually any school he chooses. Vanderbilt hopes to impress him enough to make his final cut expected at the end of the summer.


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THE VANDY TEN









Also Considered: , Ahmad Christian- Jacksonville (Fla.), , Kristofer Curtis- Fayetteville (Ga.), Kendarius Fritts- Linden (Ala.), Deon Meadows- Smyrna (Tenn.), Victor Nelson- Park Ridge (Ill.), , Aaron Simms- Nashville (Tenn.), Marquis Sumler- Pensacola (Fla.), Joe Townsend- Hendersonville (Tenn.) and Frankie Williams- Tampa (Fla.).





Note: The Vandy Ten is in no way an exact representation of the Vanderbilt coaching staff's actual player evaluations or ranking system. VandySports.com is a media website that is independently generated as part of the Rivals.com network.





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