Brian Kimbrow helped continue the trend of Vanderbilt’s 2012 recruiting class when he committed to the Commodores on Friday.
“The reason I made that decision is I like to be different,” the Memphis, Tenn., tailback said during an announcement ceremony in Nashville, according to 247Sports.com. “I like a challenge. I don’t want anything given to me. It’s close to home and it felt like home and it gave me an opportunity to be successful after football.”
And Kimbrow should give Vanderbilt a better chance of being successful at football. He’s considered the state’s top prospect and the nation’s third-best all-purpose running back by 247Sports.
Kimbrow joins a recruiting class that is creating buzz around the country. Along with Kimbrow, Vanderbilt received commitments from defensive end Caleb Azubike and wide receiver Cory Batey on Friday. The Commodores have 11 commitments for the class of 2012.
First-year Vanderbilt coach James Franklin has been busy selling recruits on the idea they can get a quality education while also helping Vanderbilt change its luck on the football field.
“We can do something special,” Kimbrow told SI.com. “That’s something I’m interested in.”
Schools like Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Notre Dame and Southern California were interested in Kimbrow. Oh yeah, Tennessee was, too. Kimbrow tried on a Vols hat before placing it down on the table during the ceremony, which was carried live on WGFX radio in Nashville.
“Nah, it didn’t fit,” Kimbrow said, according to SI. “It’s Vandy.”
And there’s the difference Franklin has made for Vanderbilt. UT isn’t used to losing in-state prospects to the other SEC team in the state. Franklin is trying to make it a trend and he’s challenging prospects to join him.
“If you feel that you are the best and the brightest, come prove it with me week in and week out,” Franklin told SI.com on Wednesday. “If you’re afraid of competition, then you’d better not be playing major division football, and you’d better not be considering the SEC.”
Where Vanderbilt’s class will finish among SEC teams remains to be seen. Remember, prospects can’t sign with schools for another seven months. Still, the most recent class rankings published by ESPN.com places Vanderbilt at No. 24 in the nation.
How will prospects view Vanderbilt if the Commodores struggle in Franklin’s first season on the field? We’ll see, but these prospects choosing the Commodores have already seen the struggle in the past.
“I’ve had a chance to think about this for two years now,” Kimbrow told SI. “I’ve been recruited since 10th grade. … This is where I feel comfortable. This is where I want to go.”
And other top prospects in the Southeast appear ready to join him.