NASHVILLE -- Parade All-Americans. Four-star standouts. Mr. Football recipients. All-State players galore. Talent in abundance. Welcome to James Franklin's initial National Signing Day at Vanderbilt.
"I can't tell you how happy I am today," Franklin said. "All of these young men have listened to our pitch - and have chosen to become part of the greatest story in college football. A new day in Vanderbilt Football has arrived."
In little more than a month in Nashville, Franklin and his staff have assembled a pool of prospects that rivals any Commodore signing class in more than a decade. The class features multiple candidates at several positions where Vanderbilt lacks depth: offensive line, defensive line, quarterback and tight end.
With all the signed letters-of-intent on campus, Franklin appreciated the efforts of his newly assembled staff and a collection of high school seniors who accepted the coaches' challenge.
"From the start, our message has been that Vanderbilt will settle for nothing less than excellence, that we plan to play championship-caliber football, and that failure is not an option," Franklin said. "I am extremely pleased to stand here today and tell you the Signing Class of 2011 holds those same beliefs."
Five defensive line candidates
Five offensive line hopefuls
Four defensive backfield prospects
Three prospective quarterbacks
Signees Hail From 13 States
Five signees hail from Florida and Tennessee, more than any other state.
National recruiting services rank this class as Vanderbilt's best in more than a decade.
More Tidbits from the Class
The list of 2011 signees features a pair of four-star recruits from scout.com - Dillon van der Wal (DE) and Lafonte Thourogood (QB).
Eighteen of the 21 signees earned at least a three-star rating from most recruiting services.
Conor Hart (DL) is the grandson of 1949 Heisman Trophy recipient and Notre Dame legend Leon Hart.
With just three quarterbacks on the current roster, the Vanderbilt coaches signed three QB prospects.
Derek King (DB) attended Brentwood Academy, the same high school attended by current Commodore DE Thad McHaney. Josh Grady (QB) and current Vanderbilt OL Justin Cabbagestalk attended Armwood H.S. in Tampa.