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January 4, 2014

Last game for remarkable seniors

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.- Seventeen Commodore seniors will take the field on Saturday with the goal of going 1-0 for the 9th time in the 2013 season. However, a win over the Houston Cougars in the BBVA Compass Bowl will have even more significance for the Vanderbilt program and its seniors.

The 2013 senior class has experienced many ups and downs during its time in Nashville, as the Commodores have gone 25-25 on the field, including three straight bowl games. A victory would not only ensure the program's first-ever back-to-back nine win season but would signify the first time a senior class has left Vanderbilt with a winning record since the senior class of 1975 finished with a 22-21-2 record.

Twenty-six wins would be the most for a senior class since 1951.



The senior group was comprised between the 2009 and 2010 signing classes, recognized as the best classes under former head coach Bobby Johnson. Though ranking outside of the Top 50 according to Rivals, the group is made up of several players that chose to attend Vanderbilt instead of going to more successful programs or other SEC schools. The senior group also includes a transfer that wanted to attend Vanderbilt coming out of high school but never received a scholarship offer from Johnson and his staff.

Some of the seniors such as Wesley Johnson, Walker May and Javon Marshall and Wesley Tate signed with the program just a month after Vanderbilt posted its first winning season since 1982 and first bowl win since 1955. They may have expected to be a part of future winning seasons but their first years on campus included a very disappointing 2-10 campaign in 2009 that included upset losses to Mississippi State and Army and an offense that was severely inept.

The following recruiting class was still effected by the success of the 2008 season as VU got an early jump on commitments in the summer of 2009. The class saw a key loss with Bradley Roby flipping to Ohio State, but got a boost from the signing of Rivals250 prospect Rajaan Bennett, the first such prospect to sign with the Commodores in the modern recruiting era.

However, before much of the class could even get on campus, tragedy struck with the senseless murder of Bennett in February and the shocking resignation of Bobby Johnson in July. The only members of the 2010 class to ever take the field with Johnson as their head coach were junior college transfer Jordan Rodgers and Georgia prep standout Kenny Ladler as both enrolled in the spring prior to signing day.

The 2010 class stayed intact despite the departure of Johnson as Robbie Caldwell was elevated to interim head coach. Twelve members of the class played as true freshmen including every defensive back as VU had little depth in the secondary. Receivers Jordan Matthews and Jonathan Krause also played as the Commodores were hoping to get a boost in the passing game.

Vanderbilt struggled through the 2010 season and Caldwell was ultimately dismissed in late November. With lots of uncertainty, the Commodores saw several coaching candidates emerge including Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. At one point, Malzahn had agreed to become the Commodores new head coach, but he soon changed his mind and pulled out of consideration.

Vanderbilt turned to little known Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin. Designated as the head coach in waiting by the Terps a year before, Franklin was known as a young, sound recruiter but many questioned his ability as a coordinator and a head coach.

Then the culture started to change as a group of hungry Commodores, led by seniors that were a part of the 2008 bowl team, came storming out of the gates under Franklin for a 3-0 start. Several young players such as Johnson, Matthews, May, Ladler and corner Andre Hal begin to emerge during a surprising 6-6 season in 2011 that concluded with a trip to the Liberty Bowl.

A year later, those four along with several other juniors, would lead the Commodores to the program's best season since 1915 as Vanderbilt went 9-4 with a 5-3 record in the Southeastern Conference, obliterating rival Tennessee 41-18 and finishing the season with a 38-24 win over N.C. State in the Music City Bowl.

Expectations were high entering the 2013 season but the program experienced more adversity both on and off the field. Redshirt junior receiver Chris Boyd was expected to team with Matthews and Krause to form one the SEC's best receiving trio but he never played a game and was dismissed from the team due to his involvement in a on-campus sexual assault incident that put the program under much scrutiny locally and nationally.

A nationally televised heart-breaking loss to Ole Miss to open the season, coupled by a 0-3 start in the SEC, caused many to question if the 2013 would be a huge disappointment. An upset comeback win over Georgia, historic win in Gainesville over Florida and second straight win over rival Tennessee put to rest those questions and now the Commodores sit on the brink of another 9-win season.

Jordan Matthews set new SEC and school records during the year, establishing himself as one of the best receivers to ever play in the league. He also became the first Commodore to earn All-American honors in consecutive years since Josh Cody in 1915 and 1916.

Wesley Johnson set a new school record for most starts by an offensive lineman and the sound tackle earned All-SEC honors for the first time in his career.

Andre Hal established himself as one of the nation's best corners, earning All-SEC honors for the second consecutive year while Kenny Ladler emerged as arguably the league's best free safety prospect while leading the team in tackles and five interceptions as well as five forced fumbles.

Kicker Carey Spear just missed earning All-SEC honors for the second time in his career and is on the verge of setting a new school record for most points scored in a season. The Ohio native will go down as one of the best kickers in school history.

Receiver Jonathan Krause emerged to become of the SEC's better receivers with nearly 800 yards. Linebackers Karl Butler and Chase Garnham emerged as a key players for the defense while Marshall will leave as one of the units top emotional leaders and a two-time captain.

The lone senior that wasn't included in the 2009 or 2010 signing classes, quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels put his own stamp on the 2013 season as well and may have the most unique story of all the seniors.

A standout prospect out of California, Carta-Samuels traveled to Vanderbilt in the summer of 2008, looking to earn a scholarship at one of the program's top prospect camps. Despite out-performing every passer that summer, the offer never came and he ended up at the University of Wyoming.

Carta-Samuels would emerge as a starter for the Cowboys as a true freshman in 2009 and led the program to a New Mexico Bowl title. The two-year starter transferred from Laramie following the 2010 season and almost enrolled at the University of Arizona before ending up at Vanderbilt in late August of 2011 as a walk-on.

After two years of redshirting and serving as the backup to Jordan Rodgers, Carta-Samuels became the starting quarterback in 2013 and set a single-season school record for highest completion percentage. He also passed for 2,268 yards in 10 games and accounted for 16 touchdowns. The Commodores went 8-3 in games in which Carta-Samuels started during his career, one of the best winning percentages for a starter in decades. He tore his ACL against Georgia but chose to play on it a few games later and returned to lead Vanderbilt to three straight wins against Kentucky, Tennessee and Wake Forest.

In many ways, Carta-Samuels story may encapsulate the entire senior class as its a testament to not only talent level but adversity and willingness to sacrifice in the name of the team.

If not Carta-Samuels, it could be Matthews, as a vastly under-recruited prospect that proved every doubter wrong on his way to a historic career.

Either way, the senior class of 2013 is made up of 17 players that made a mark on the Vanderbilt program that will be everlasting. They helped in building a foundation for success that will be felt for years to come.


VandySports.com highlights the Commodores historic 2013 Senior Class

Karl Butler

Years on Campus: Four
How he got to VU: New Orleans native signed with Vanderbilt in 2010 as a safety after receiving offers from Arizona, Colorado, SMU and Virginia. Ranked 58th among cornerbacks by Rivals.com and was rated as a three-star prospect.
Key Impact: Butler played special teams and as a reserve safety in his first year in 2010. He moved from safety to linebacker in 2011 and provided strong depth as a change of pace from VU's typical front seven look. Butler emerged as a starter in 2012, posting 11 tackles for loss, 51 tackles, two sacks and five pass breakups. His play was key as the Commodores produced one of the SEC's top defenses. Butler missed three games this season due to injury but has rebounded from that missed time to post 38 tackles including 7.5 tackles for loss. His return has benefited both the linebacking corps and defense greatly as VU has surrendered seen yardage numbers go down and turnovers go up. He will enter Saturday's game with 114 career tackles including 18.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, 10 pass breakups, an interception and three forced fumbles as the team's "Star" linebacker.

Butler commitment article

Austyn Carta-Samuels

Years on Campus: Three
How he got to VU: San Jose native enrolled at Vanderbilt in August of 2011 after transferring from Wyoming. A three-star prospect in the 2009 class, he ranked 22nd among dual-threat quarterbacks according to Rivals.com and was the 79th ranked player in the state of California.
Key Impact: He finished his Vanderbilt career with 11 starts passing for 2,476 yards and 12 touchdowns against 9 interceptions. His completed a record 67.6% of his passes on 306 attempts. Vanderbilt went 8-3 in the 11 games he started during his career. Served as a team captain in 2013.

Carta-Samuels first interview at Vanderbilt

Steven Clarke

Years on Campus: Four
How he got to VU: The south Florida native committed to Vanderbilt on the final week of the 2010 signing period shortly after the Commodores lost the commitment of safety Sharrod Golightly to South Carolina. Though rated as a two-star prospect, Clarke received offers from Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Miami, Nebraska, Ole Miss and West Virginia during his recruitment.
Key Impact: Clarke played as a true freshman in 2010 as one of the team's nickel corners. He began to rotate at corner in 2011 and also assumed some kick return duties, and continued that role in 2012. He emerged as a starter at corner in 2013, enjoying his best season with 31 solo tackles, an interception and four pass breakups. He enters his final game with 92 career tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, an interception, 6 pass breakups and three fumble recoveries.

Clarke commitment article

Chase Garnham

Years at VU: Four
How he got to VU: A Fairhope, Alabama native, Garnham committed to Vanderbilt in the last month of the 2010 recruiting period. A two-star rated prospect according to Rivals, he picked VU over Southern Miss, Troy and UAB.
Key Impact: Garnham played as a second string linebacker in 2010 making a few tackles in SEC action. He emerged as a starter at outside linebacker in 2011, posting nine starts and posting 51 tackles with 5.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. Garnham moved to middle linebacker in 2012 following the graduation of All-SEC performer Chris Marve and became one of the most productive at the position in the SEC in his own right, finishing with 84 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. He missed much of this season due to an injury but he still contributed in several of VU's wins during the second half of the year, earning SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors following the victory in Knoxville. Garnham goes into his final game with 154 career tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 8.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.

Garnham commitment article

Andre Hal

Years at VU: Four
How he got to VU: Port Allen, Louisiana native chose VU in the summer of 2009 and was considered one of the team's better signees in 2010. Ranked 56th among corners by Rivals.com, Hal chose the Commodores over several other programs including Nebraska, Ole Miss and Tennessee. Rivals rated him as a three-star prospect.
Key Impact: Hal played in every game as a true freshman and made his first start that season against Florida. He also served as a kick returner that year and continued in that capacity in 2011, returning 31 kicks for an average of 23.8 yards including a TD against Georgia. Hal replaced Casey Hayward in the starting lineup in 2012 and immediately led the Commodores pass defense, earning All-SEC honors following the season. Finished the 2013 regular season with 40 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and two interceptions and was named All-SEC once again. He enters his final game with 124 career tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, five interceptions and 23 pass breakups. He's considered one of the better cover corners to ever play at VU.

Hal commitment article

Wesley Johnson

Years at VU: Five
How he got to VU: The local product out of Montgomery Bell Academy was considered the No.1 target for VU throughout the 2009 recruiting period and ultimately committed to the Dores in December of 2008. Ranked 28th among offensive tackles by Rivals.com and 7th among prospects from the state of Tennessee, Johnson chose the Commodores over Auburn, Duke, Georgia Tech, Kentucky and others. Rivals ranked Johnson as a high three-star prospect.
Key Impact: Johnson redshirted in 2009 and became a 12-game starter at tackle in 2010, earning SEC All-Freshman honors and Freshman All-American consideration. He played at virtually every position in 2011 and anchored a group that helped Zac Stacy set a new school record for rushing. Johnson graded out successfully in 2012 and helped Stacy set more school records in rushing and helped spearhead an offense that also set records as a unit. He received All-SEC honorable mention honors This year, Johnson has continued his strong play and led VU to another 8-win season. He was on both the Rotary Lombardi and Outland Trophy lists to start the year and was recently named first team All-SEC. He will finish his career with a school-record 51 starts along the offensive line. He's also a two-time captain.

Johnson commitment article

Jonathan Krause

Years at VU: Four
How he got to VU: Krause committed to Vanderbilt in summer of 2009 after a recruiting period that included offers from Stanford, Mississippi State and Ole Miss. The Georgia product by way of California, Krause was rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com.
Key Impact: Krause played immediately as a true freshman in 2010, making 10 starts and posting 24 receptions for 243 yards. Krause started five games in 2011 and posted 23 receptions but his yardage totals went down. He played in every game at receiver during the 2012 season but saw his production go down further and instead made more of an impact at punt returner. Posted 25 returns for 281 yards including a pair of touchdowns. Krause has emerged as the team's No. 2 receiver in 2013 posting career-high numbers and making a case for a potential pro future. Has 41 receptions for 703 yards and three touchdowns in just 10 games. Enters his final game at VU with 97 career catches and 1,186 receiving yards with 7 total touchdowns.

Krause commitment article

Kenny Ladler

Years at VU: Four
How he got to VU: Ladler committed to Vanderbilt in June of 2009 over offers from East Carolina, Louisville, New Mexico and Toledo. The Stephenson High product saw major interest later that fall after strong senior season and garnered new offers from South Carolina, Kentucky and a partial offer from Georgia. Ultimately chose to enroll at Vanderbilt in January of 2010, spurning that interest. Ranked 42nd at safety by Rivals.com and 46th among prospects from the state of Georgia. Was rated as a high three-star prospect.
Key Impact: Ladler was one of two early enrollees at VU in 2010, the first such players to do that since 2003. He made an immediate impact that fall, posting 9 starts and finishing fifth on the team with 41 solo tackles. Earned SEC All-Freshman honors. Made five starts in 2011 but finished fourth on the team in tackles with 51 stops. Had a breakout year in 2012 with 90 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. This fall he proved to be one of the SEC's top safeties as he posted five interceptions and forced five fumbles while also posting 87 total tackles. Earned first team All-SEC honors following the regular season and will go down as one of the program's top safeties in decades.

Ladler commitment article

Fitz Lassing

Years at VU: Four
How he got to VU: Lassing was a under-recruited prospect out of Montgomery Bell Academy but was considered one of the middle Tennessee's top high school players. Received offers from Furman and Wofford and had Ivy League possibilities from Harvard and others, but was set to accept a invited walk-on spot at Stanford. Vanderbilt then made a full scholarship offer on signing day in 2010 and Lassing signed a national letter of intent. Lassing was rated as a high two-star prospect by Rivals.com as a projected linebacker.
Key Impact: Lassing played immediately in 2010 as a H-back on offense and tackler on special teams. He saw his role evolve in 2011 as he became more of a true fullback and helped pave the way as lead blocker for record-setting Zac Stacy. He also caught five passes for 58 yards and a touchdown. Lassing continued to pave the way for Stacy in 2012 as a fullback and earned special recognition for his work by his coaches and teammates. Lassing has continued his role as a fullback this fall but has also seen a little more work in the passing game, hauling in four passes for 25 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The three-time SEC Academic Honor Role recipient was also a finalist for the National Scholar Athlete Award.

Lassing commitment article

Javon Marshall

Years at VU: Five
How he got to VU: Marshall was a virtual unknown as a junior at Wayne High in Ohio, but he emerged on Vanderbilt's late in the 2009 recruiting period and secured an offer that January. He ultimately signed with the program after also receiving offers from Air Force, Eastern Michigan and Miami of Ohio. He had late interest from Kentucky as well. Rivals.com rated him as a low two-star prospect.
Key Impact: Marshall redshirted in 2009 and became a special teams contributor in 2010. In 2011, he rotated starting assignments with Ladler and helped the Commodores form one of the SEC's best secondaries. He finished the year with 8 starts, 42 tackles and a pair of interceptions. Marshall was named a captain in 2012 and a solid junior year as starting strong safety, posting 83 tackles with two tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. All while battling injuries. Marshall has started 12 games this season and currently sits with 77 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and an interception. The two-time captain enters his final game with 206 career tackles including 8 tackles for loss, three interceptions and nine pass breakups.

Marshall commitment article

Jordan Matthews

Years at VU: Four
How he got to VU: Matthews was a solid receiver prospect out of Madison Academy in Alabama but was largely unnoticed prior to his senior year since he missed many summer camp opportunities. The one camp he did attend was the VU camp in July and he put on one of the best performances the school has ever seen. Vanderbilt had no scholarship room initially but had a spot open up when Bradley Roby flipped to Ohio State and Matthews quickly accepted the offer in late December of 2009. Schools such as Arkansas State, Jacksonville State, Kansas and Tulane made verbal offers but Matthews signed with VU as a 5.5 three-star prospect according to Rivals.com.
Key Impact: Matthews made a quick impression with everyone as a true freshman, hauling in 15 passes for 181 yards and four touchdowns late during the 2010 season. He became a starter in 2011 under James Franklin and quickly established himself as the team's top receiver with 41 catches for 778 yards and five touchdowns. Matthews became one of the nation's top receivers in 2012, posting 94 receptions with 1,323 yards and 8 touchdowns. He set a school record for yards in a season and was named first team All-SEC and third-team All-American after the season. Matthews shunned the NFL and returned for his senior year in 2013 and this season has been nothing but historic. A team captain, Matthews has posted a SEC record 107 receptions this year for a new school record of 1,334 yards. He now holds the SEC record in both career catches and career yardage, as well as number of 100-yard games. Matthews play has been key in VU's 8-4 season and has become a NFL first round draft prospect. He earned first team All-SEC honors once again and is now a two-time All-American. He was a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award for nation's top receiver and was named the CFPA Receiver of the Year. Slated to play in the Senior Bowl later this month, Matthews enters his final game as a Commodore with 257 career catches for 3,616 yards and 22 touchdowns. He is not only the best receiver in Vanderbilt history, he's arguably the best player in Commodore history as well. He's also arguably the best receiver in SEC history as well.

Matthews commitment article

Walker May

Years at VU: Five
How he got to VU: May committed to Vanderbilt in July of 2008 as a undersized defensive end/linebacker hybrid. A state champion at Birmingham's Briarwood Christian program, May received interest from several other SEC schools but ultimately signed with VU over offers from Arkansas State, South Alabama and UAB. Rivals.com rated May as a 5.2 two-star in the 2009 class.
Key Impact: After redshirting in 2009, May made a quick impact as the team's top pass rusher in 2010. He registered 29 tackles with 6 tackles for loss and two sacks that first year and earned SEC All-Freshman honors. May emerged as a starter midway through the 2011 season and finished with 30 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks and earned the team's Commodore Award. A captain in 2012, May posted 41 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and three sacks as Vanderbilt fielded one of the SEC's top defenses. Despite dealing with lingering injuries, May has continued his strong play this year with 40 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and four sacks. The two-time captain played a huge role in Vanderbilt's win in Knoxville and ensured the Commodores recent win over Wake Forest with a last minute sack. May has emerged as a leader in the locker room and has been an example for many of the younger Commodore defenders. He'll enter his final game with 140 career tackles, 29.5 tackles for loss with 11 sacks, two pass breakups and two forced fumbles.

May commitment article

Jared Morse

Years at VU: Four
How he got to VU: Morse committed to Vanderbilt in July of 2009 after a recruiting process that included several offers from other SEC programs. The Oxford, Alabama product chose the Commodores over the likes of Arkansas, Auburn, Florida State, Kentucky and Tennessee. He took a visit to FSU after his commitment and nearly visited Tennessee, but chose to stay solid with VU and signed in 2010. Rivals.com ranked Morse as the 29th prospect in the state of Alabama and rated him a mid-level three-star.
Key Impact: Morse played in 8 games as a true freshman in 2010, rotating at defensive tackle with T.J. Greenstone behind Adam Smotherman. He finished with 7 tackles including one for a loss. He rotated with Greenstone and Colt Nichter in 2011 and finished with 8 tackles and a forced fumble. Morse emerged as a starter in 2012, earning seven nods and finished with 24 tackles including nine tackles for loss, two sacks and four pass breakups. His play inside allowed VU to rally to the ball defensively and finish as one of the nation's top defenses. After missing the spring due to a suspension, Morse returned this fall and has posted 23 tackles with 3.5 tackles for loss, a sack and four pass breakups. His play has been key in some big victories including against Florida and Tennessee. Morse enters his last game with 60 career tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks and 11 pass breakups.

Morse commitment article

Trent Pruitt

Years at VU: Four
How he got to VU: Pruitt committed to Vanderbilt in June of 2009 after a strong junior year at Fitzgerald High in Georgia. The undersized receiver went on to enjoy a strong senior year and earned a late offer from Georgia Tech but turned down the scholarship and signed with Vanderbilt in 2010. He also had offers from Troy and UAB. Rivals.com rated Pruitt as a high two-star prospect.
Key Impact: Pruitt redshirted in 2010 and suffered with an injury throughout 2011 but still played in five games. He saw action in six games in 2012, returning a punt against Kentucky and rotating more at receiver. Much of his role was as a exterior blocker in the passing game and downfield blocker in the running game. This year, Pruitt has seen his most extensive action as VU has needed his talents at both receiver and at punt returner. Pruitt has played in every game and has three receptions for 44 yards. He made a huge catch against Georgia and another big grab in the win at Florida. He also returned five punts for 24 yards this season. Pruitt does have a year of eligibility remaining but he's expected to move on.

Pruitt commitment article

Carey Spear

Years at VU: Four
How he got to VU: Spear was a standout soccer player but four year letterwinner as a kicker at Mayfield High in Ohio. He was eventually ranked as one of the nation's top kickers and received All-American honors. He chose to accept a scholarship from Vanderbilt five days before national signing day in 2010 after receiving offers from Air Force, Ball State and Miami of Ohio. He also had invited walk-on opportunities at Michigan and Penn State and scheduled an official visit to Ole Miss but signed with VU. Rivals.com rated Spear as a 5.3 two-star prospect but 4th most accurate.
Key Impact: Spear made an immediate impact at VU in 2010, serving as the team's kickoff specialist and averaged 62.9 yards per attempt with six touchbacks. In 2011, he rotated with Ryan Fowler on kicking duties and connected on 4-of-7 field goals and was 26-of-27 on PATs. He also averaged 64.4 yards per kickoff with 10 touchbacks. In 2012, Spear set a school-record with 20 field goals and 87 points scored by a kicker. He also posted 22 touchbacks on kickoffs and was perfect while rotating PATs with Fowler. He was named second team All-SEC. Spear entered this season as a Lou Groza Award and CFPA Placekicker Trophy candidate. He's been a model of consistency on kickoffs with 44 touchbacks on 65 attempts. His play has allowed VU to rank 2nd nationally in kick return yardage defense. Spear has also converted on 13-of-17 field goals and even scored a touchdown. He could set a new single-season for points accounted for, regardless of position, on Saturday. He enters his final game with 37-of-48 field goals, 96-97 PATs and 239 kickoffs for 14,960 yards and 82 touchbacks. He also has 213 career points, which ranks him 2nd all-time at VU. Many consider Spear to be one of the best, if not the best, kicker to ever play at Vanderbilt.

Spear commitment article

Wesley Tate

Years at VU: Five
How he got to VU: Tate was a standout running back from Pope John Paul II in Hendersonville and was one of VU's top targets for the 2009 recruiting period. He committed to Vanderbilt on National Signing Day in 2009, joining fellow running back prospects Warren Norman and Zac Stacy. He chose VU over offers from Arkansas State, Georgia Tech, Miami of Ohio, Purdue, Stanford and Western Kentucky. Rivals.com ranked him 70th among running back prospects and 18th among prospects from the state of Tennessee. He was rated as a three-star.
Key Impact: Tate redshirted in 2009 in order for the coaches to retain extra eligibility. In 2010, he rotated with Norman and Stacy to form a promising running back corps and finished with 140 yards on 40 carries as the team's short-yardage option. In 2011, he was moved to receiver in order to get him on the field and he finished with 22 receptions for 187 yards but rushed for 26 yards and a touchdown. Tate moved back to running back in 2012 and provided a nice change of pace to Stacy, rushing for 376 yards on 107 carries and 8 touchdowns. He also caught 12 passes for 116 yards and a TD and threw for another score as well. This year, Tate was slowed by both injury and up and down play. He had a brilliant game against South Carolina but had other games in which he struggled. His numbers are improved from last season, rushing for 361 yards on 89 carries and four touchdowns while also catching 18 passes for 149 yards and another score. He enters his final game in the Black and Gold with 239 career carries for 903 yards and 13 touchdowns as well as 57 receptions for 477 yards and two scores.

Tate commitment article

Chase White

Years at VU: Four
How he got to VU: White committed to Vanderbilt out of Plano, Texas in June of 2009. The offensive line prospect chose Vanderbilt over the Houston Cougars but also received attention from Kansas State, Northwestern and Texas A&M. Rivals.com rated White as a 5.3 two-star.
Key Impact: White redshirted in 2010 and emerged as a starter early in the 2011 season. He played in 10 games with 3 starts that year, seeing time at both left guard and right tackle. White played in 11 games during the 2012 season serving as a key reserve that could move to various different spots along the line. White has shown his versatility once again this season as he's lined up at guard, tackle, tight end and even fullback different games. He's made five starts this season including three at guard and a pair at right tackle. His play has been key and stabilizing at times, especially while the line dealt with injuries. He has a year of eligibility remaining after this season but is expected to move on.

White commitment article




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