June 12, 2007
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Vanderbilt has bolstered its 2007 football recruiting class with the signing of highly regarded Georgia tight end Brandon Barden, Commodore Head Coach Bobby Johnson announced today.
The 6-5, 225-pound Barden hails from Lincoln County High School, a history-rich team located in Lincolnton just north of Augusta. Barden was the starting quarterback for consecutive Class A state championship teams in 2005 and 2006.
Johnson said the Commodores heavily recruited Barden early in his senior year of high school, then turned their attention toward other prospects when the Rivals.com 3-star athlete committed to Virginia Tech. Vanderbilt only pursued Barden recently, after he was released from the Virginia Tech scholarship. Barden spent the spring semester in Blacksburg, and participated in the Hokies' spring drills.
"We believe Brandon can be an outstanding football player. As a late addition, we feel like Brandon makes a really strong recruiting class even stronger," the Vanderbilt head coach said. "Brandon has tremendous upside and can really run for a guy his size. He's a smart young man and has superb football knowledge, having been mentored in one of Georgia's most successful high school programs."
As Lincoln County's team leader, Barden guided the Red Devils to a 13-1 record, concluding the campaign in the Georgia Dome with a 21-14 victory over Clinch County for the state title. Barden threw for a touchdown and rushed for another in the title game, which marked Lincoln County's 14th football state championship.
As a senior, Barden rushed for 604 yards and 13 touchdowns, and passed for 520 yards and seven touchdowns for Lincoln County. As a receiver early in the 2006 season, Barden also caught 10 passes for 181 yards and two scores. As a junior Barden ran for 16 touchdowns, guiding the Red Devils to their first state title since 1995.
Barden is the son of Mike and Becky Barden. His mother serves as principal of Lincoln County H.S.
A full list of the Vanderbilt 2007 signing class follows:
2007 Vanderbilt Signees, Position, Residence/High School
Robert Ashabranner, Defensive Line, Beaumont, Texas/Cathedral Christian H.S.
Brandon Barden, Tight End, Lincolnton, Ga./Lincoln County H.S.
Jermaine Doster, Running Back, Tampa, Fla./Robinson H.S.
Kyle Fischer, Offensive Line, Columbia, S.C./Spring Valley H.S.
Tim Fugger, Tight End, Oak Brook, Ill./Montini Catholic H.S.
Jamie Graham, Receiver/Def. Back, Nashville, Tenn./Whites Creek H.S.
T.J. Greenstone, Defensive Line, Lawrenceville, Ga./Collins Hill H.S.
Theron Kadri, Defensive Line, Brighton, Tenn./Brighton H.S.
Chris Mavre, Linebacker, Memphis, Tenn./White Station H.S.
Austin Monahan, Tight End, Charlotte, N.C./Phillips (Mass.) Academy
Larry Smith, Quarterback, Prattville, Ala./Prattville H.S.
John Stokes, Linebacker, Memphis, Tenn./Memphis University School
Udom Umoh, Wide Receiver, Fort Valley, Ga./Peach County H.S.
Ryan van Rensburg, Running Back, Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School
James Williams, Offensive Line, Smyrna, Tenn./Smyrna H.S.