Vanderbilt added a key member to their class of 2014 on Thursday. If all goes well, you may never hear his name at Dudley Field.
That's because Ike Powell, James Franklin's newest commitment, also happens to be the top long snapping prospect in the country. Long snappers are an anonymous, but vital piece of the special teams cog. They only seem to get recognition when something goes wrong.
With Powell, Vanderbilt is betting that won't be much of a problem. The special teams ace gained interest from Florida, Florida State, and Auburn before choosing to play in Nashville. His unique skill set led Franklin and his staff to offer a scholarship to a position that traditionally hasn't been filled by heavily recruited players in the past.
Powell, a 6'3", 250 pound long snapper, will give the Commodores a combination of size and on-target snaps up the middle. He graded out at the top of his class in three of the four Kohl's special teams camps that he's participated in. He's considered a potential Under Armour All-American thanks to his combination of accuracy and release time.
Vanderbilt has relied on special teams play to provide an extra edge in recent years. Whether it's been Brett Upson being named Music City Bowl MVP (never forget), Jonathan Krause's ability to manipulate punt returns into solid field position, or Carey Spear's dual talents on field goals and removing kick returners from their souls, the 'Dores have ridden their special teams to a big revival in recent years. Powell, the best player in his class at what he does, should help extend that legacy.