Multiple reports have Franklin leaving Vanderbilt to become the head coach at Penn State. That would be a tremendous blow to Vanderbilt on the recruiting trail, where Franklin has made the Commodores relevant for the first time since recruiting coverage became a thing.
Vanderbilt commitments have already begun hearing from schools ready to take advantage of the idea of Franklin bolting for Penn State. And those prospects appear to be listening.
Defensive tackle Michael Sawyers from Ensworth School in Nashville, Tenn., is one of those prospects. He told Rivals.com he plans to visit Ole Miss and Texas and is considering trips to Tennessee and Notre Dame.
“I was thinking Vanderbilt was more of a long-term thing with Coach Franklin,” said Sawyers, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 17 defensive tackle by Rivals. “That’s kind of getting to me right now. I’m still committed to Vanderbilt and I feel like if we keep this class together we can still be good, but I’ve just decided that I’m going to take a couple of official visits and see how things play out.”
It will be interesting to see how Trent Sherfield’s recruitment plays out. The athlete from Danville (Ill.) High School told 247Sports on Thursday he planned to open his recruitment after hearing the reports about Franklin’s departue.
Vanderbilt could still be in play for Sherfield, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 45 safety by 247Sports.
Other Vanderbilt commitments to watch as Franklin’s status remains in question: defensive backs Kyle Gibson from Seffner, Fla., and Emmanuel Smith from Murfreesboro, Tenn., and running back Mikale Wilbon from Chicago.
All three prospects are highly-touted and would have several options if they decided to look at other schools.
One key prospect Vanderbilt can feel good about is quarterback KJ Carta-Samuels from San Jose, Calif. The younger brother of former Vanderbilt quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels reaffirmed his commitment – at least for now – to Vanderbilt.
I love Vanderbilt. I love Coach. I committed to both. If that changes I just need to think things over. I’m not turning my back on either.
— KJ Carta-Samuels #10 (@KJCS14) January 9, 2014
Gators add Tabor, lose Lammons
Florida received good news Thursday when cornerback Jalen Tabor from Friendship Christian Academy in Washington, D.C., announced he will enroll at Florida next week.
Tabor, who previously committed to Arizona last week, decided he couldn’t move so far away.
“It really came down to distance from home,” Tabor told Rivals. “I talked with my family after I made the decision to go to Arizona. We felt that it was a better decision to play closer to home.”
It’s great news for Florida, which will have to replace departing cornerbacks Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Roberson. Tabor will have a chance to team up with talented cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, who earned first-team All-SEC honors last year as a freshman.
Tabor, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 4 cornerback by Rivals, also helps fill the void left by cornerback Chris Lammons from Plantation (Fla.) High School. He decommitted from Florida on Thursday and is reportedly giving strong consideration to South Carolina and Wisconsin.
Florida is also in the mix for cornerback Adoree’ Jackson from Junipero Serra High School in Gardena, Calif. The nation’s top-rated athlete by Rivals is considering six schools.
I Wanna Thank God & All The Schools Who Recruited Me But The Wait Is Over My Top 6 Schools: Florida,LSU,Oklahoma,Tennessee,UCLA,USC
— SWEET PEA (@AdoreeKnows) January 4, 2014
SEC battle for Scott
Florida has targeted running back Derrell Scott as a replacement for Dalvin Cook, who switched his commitment from the Gators to Florida State last week.
Scott, who attends Havelock (N.C.) High School, has mainly focused his recruitment on South Carolina and Tennessee. Florida recently offered a scholarship to Scott, who plans to visit Gainesville on Jan. 17.
“I am just going to see what they have to say, give them a chance,” Scott told Rivals. “Everybody thinks because they offered me, it’s all over, and that I’m definitely going there. It’s nothing like that. I am just going down there, taking an official visit to see what Coach (Will) Muschamp has to say.”
South Carolina and Tennessee will have plenty to say in the recruitment of Scott, who officially eliminated North Carolina State this week. He maintained South Carolina and Tennessee are his top two schools.
“They’ve been there for me longer,” he said.
Scott is ranked the nation’s No. 8 all-purpose back and No. 7 prospect in the state of North Carolina by Rivals.
Florida’s offense received a boost Friday morning when athlete Brandon Powell from Deerfield Beach (Fla.) High School switched his commitment from Miami to Florida.
Powell, who originally committed to Tennessee before flipping to Miami, plans to enroll at Florida next week. He could help the Gators at running back or wide receiver.
Former Longhorn commitment picks Texas A&M
Defensive tackle Zaycoven Henderson from Longview (Texas) High School committed to Texas A&M this week, less than a month after he had given his pledge to Texas.
Henderson, who plans to enroll in classes next week, decommitted from Texas on Wednesday after defensive tackles coach Bo Davis left for Southern California. Henderson committed to Texas A&M the next day.
I’m Taking My Talents Texas A&M #GigEm
— Zay-Coven Henderson (@lobo5540) January 9, 2014
Henderson is the fifth defensive lineman and second tackle to join Texas A&M’s 2014 class. Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin was certainly excited to take Henderson’s commitment.