Vanderbilt head football coach Derek Mason has added 10 commitments to the 2019 recruiting class and they all look like terrific football players. We now have 11 in the fold with more coming down the pike.
Here's a look at all 11 commits.
1. Joel DeCoursey, Our first pledge on March 28th of this year, an 86 (247 sports) and 5.6 (Rivals) 3 star. Joel is a 6'5", 230 tight end from Zionsville, Indiana and has exceptional hands as a receiver and is a physical blocker. He's going to be a key part of our plans in the future locking down the side of our line and in receiving in the flat and downfield.
2. Jeffrey Blake, a 5.5 and 84 3 star, Jeffrey is a 6'4", 230 pound tight end from Greater Atlanta Christian School in Norcross, GA. Physical on film. Likes to hit people and bury them. Good hands in the open field. Really good athlete from an outstanding program in the greater Atlanta area. Like Jeffrey and Joel as bookends on offense in the future.
3. Anfernee Orji, an 88, 3 star and a 5.8, 4 star safety from Rockwall, Texas, Anfernee's older brother, Alston, a 4 star linebacker and a heckuva football player, is joining us this fall as an incoming freshman and should make an impact in our linebacking corps immediately. Anfernee is 6'1", 200, and as a junior, he posted 84 tackles, 13 for loss, 4 sacks, three interceptions and 6 pass breakups. He's a dynamite physical player and a game changer in the defensive backfield. We are really going to like the Orji brothers, starting this fall with Alston and continuing on in the future with both Alston and Anfernee.
4. Daevion Davis, an 87 and 5.7 3 star, who should be a 4 star quite honestly. Daevion is 6'1", 315 and an enforcer for his James Clemons football team in Madison, Alabama. He was a Super All State Class 7A player who registered a mind blowing 112 tackles as a junior, with 14 for loss, and 12 1/2 sacks. He also forced 3 fumbles, recovered 2, and blocked a kick and a punt. I have no idea why Daevion isn't a 4 star. He's a superb football player. His coach, Wade Waldrop, is a super guy and said Daevion, along with another VU commitment, quarterback Jamil Muhammad, are captains and leaders on a talented 2019 James Clemons team.
5. Jamil Muhammad, An 83, and 5.5 3 star, Jamil is 6'1", 217, runs like a sprinter, and has a strong arm, that, according to his Coach, Wade Waldrop, if he can develop his core the ball will explode off his hands. Waldrop loves Jamil's leadership and competitiveness. He scored 33 on the ACT. Jamil missed 2017, his junior year, with a knee injury. In the spring game before his junior year, he was 9-of-11 for 198 yards and 2 TDs. He started 9 games his sophomore year and the team won 8 of them. He was not asked to throw his sophomore year, according to Coach Waldrop. I asked Coach Waldrop what he liked most about Jamil, and Waldrop said, "His leadership. He is a strong leader with a tremendous work ethic. He is also extremely competitive. We can't wait to see him taking snaps for us this fall." I'll keep you updated on Jamil's and Daevion's progress this fall.
6. Jayden Harrison-Jayden is a 5.5 and 87 3 star. He is a 5'10", 187 pound wide receiver out of Pearl Cohn School in Nashville. Jayden runs super routes, can motor and has excellent hands. We're going to really like watching Jayden catch and run in the open field. Awesome pickup for the staff and the offense.
7. Devin Boddie, an 86 and 5.6 3 star out of Whitehaven in Memphis, Devin is another player with what looks like world class speed. His catching ability is awesome and once he gets into the open field, it's lights out. He's takin it to the house without a doubt. Love these 2 additions of Devin and Jayden for our offense. Both look like 4.4 guys.
8. Justin Harris, an 85 and 5.5 3 star safety out of Etowah High School in Attalia, Alabama, Justin lays lumber at 6'2", 175, and makes terrific, game changing interceptions. I've watched film on Justin and all these guys and they are real deals as football players. There will be more coming too.
9. Christian James, an 84 and underrated 5.3 3 star and 2 star, Christian is an aggressive, physical 6'4", 245 defensive end out of Christian Brothers in Memphis. I really liked Christian's film, he dominated on the line of scrimmage. He's an under the radar, outstanding football player.
10. Justin Ball, Justin is a 6'6", 230 pound 82 3 star and underrated 5.4 2 star by Rivals. He's an excellent tight end out of Gonzaga High School in D.C. I played football in D.C. in high school and Gonzaga had some awesome athletes in football and basketball. Justin is a superb blocker and a solid downfield target. He will really help both our running and passing game. Like the 3 tight ends we got. Offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig, who also coaches and specializes in the tight ends, and Coach Mason, really like using tight ends and we'll be seeing a lot more of that this fall with Jared Pinkney, Sam Dobbs, and some others and with these 3 guys coming in for 2019.
11. JR Tran-Reno- JR is an 81 and 5.5 3 star, 6'1", 205 running back out of Briarwood Christian School in Birmingham, and a very underrated player, in my opinion. JR should be a high 3 star or a 4 star. He plays like Christian McCaffrey and I promise you, I'm not exaggerating. His film is spectacular. JR compiled 1,500 total yards, 1,034 on the ground, and scored 26 TDs. JR led Briarwood Christian to the Class 5A state championship game. He's got tremendous power and speed. Likes to get physical and can really take it to the house. Love this pickup.
So we're in really good shape and continuing the momentum heading into the 2018 season and with this 2019 class. Coach Mason just keeps improving this program every year. We've got a lot of super players on this 2018 team.
We're looking at probably 3 or 4 more commits in July, and we'll probably end up with a class of 21-24 players. I like where this program is heading. Pumped for 2018 with the best quarterback in the Southeastern Conference, a slew of playmakers, a physical, tough and deep offensive line, super tight ends, and a defense that will disrupt and get many turnovers and win a lot of football games for us this fall.
I'll have some football interviews coming up next week.