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Vandy wins fierce battle for offensive tackle

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Chalk another one up for Derek Mason.

The new Vanderbilt coach has flipped seven recruits from other schools, and on Monday he landed a prized offensive tackle that Florida and Arkansas wanted very badly–Arizona product Andrew Mike, the guy with two first names. He is a high end three-star prospect, and as the recruiting race tightened and national signing day came near, he became a hotter and hotter commodity in which three SEC programs and a bunch of Pac 12 teams were vying for his services. He is 6-foot-7, 270 pounds, obviously a frame that can be worked with in the weight room.

Related: Vandy’s been busy for the past week

He had visited Florida and Arkansas in January, as well as Washington in the fall. But in the end he decided Mason and Vanderbilt offered what he wanted most. Arkansas wanted him to pair up with four-star Frank Ragnow to create one of the finder late tandem pickups in the SEC. Ragnow committed late last week. Florida has major needs on the offensive line and could have used his help too.

Vanderbilt has quickly built its class back up to 16 commitments after dropping to a low of eight at one point since James Franklin left to take the head coaching job at Penn State. Seven of those new pickups have come in the last three days.

 





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Comments 2

  1. Brian, what are your thoughts about how the Vandy recruiting class is shaping up compared to where it was before Franklin left? Also, do you think that Vandy can/will continue to recruit with the same success (i.e. top 25 classes) that we did with Franklin here? I’m really excited about Mason as an in-game coach, but don’t know much about his recruiting background and would love to hear your thoughts.

    • This class won’t touch what Franklin had built up, but this particular pickup (A. Mike) is an indication of good things. Florida wanted this kid BADLY and Bielema’s design is perfect for pumping out great linemen. For Vandy to turn this kid’s head like that is huge (obviously he had contact with Mason in the past since he’s from Pac 12 territory). I was damned sure A. Mike was heading to Florida, then Arkansas. And this QB he landed over the weekend? Absolutely ignored until lately, but had a monster senior year. Snagging a kid away from Boston College isn’t bad either. So far so good, I’d say. Long term? Tough to say if he’ll be on Franklin’s level, but I’m impressed so far. I honestly thought they might get stuck on 10 commits and have to really scrape the bottom of the barrel.