Vanderbilt added to their top 25 recruiting class on Wednesday, picking up Alabama defensive back Torren McGaster. McGaster's commitment brings their current player list to an even 20 names. The high school senior is rated as a three-star player by both Rivals.com and ESPN.com who can cover well in man-to-man situations and is a strong tackler. He had offers from schools like Illinois, Minnesota, South Florida, Missouri, and Minnesota before choosing Vandy.
He'll help bolster a secondary that will lose a pair of standout players in Casey Hayward and Sean Richardson. Along with Chris Marve and Tim Fugger, these two were the heart and soul of a Vanderbilt defense that ranked 27th in the country in points allowed this season. Fortunately, the team is well stocked at defensive back going into 2012 and beyond. Players like Javon Marshall, Kenny Ladler, Trey Wilson, Andre Hal, and Eric Samuels will make the transition from Hayward and Richardson as smooth as possible for next year's campaign in the expanded SEC.
Currently, the team only has one other defensive back locked in to their 2012 recruiting class - Paris Head. However, players like Brandon Banks and Jaborian McKenzie could also end up at the position thanks to their athleticism and size. Other backs, including high-profile recruits like Chaz Elder and Jordan Diggs, will remain on Vandy's radar. With only Wilson's starting spot nailed down for 2012, Franklin and his crew can pitch the promise of potential playing time for any player who stands out amongst Vandy's stable of talented corners and safeties. While they may seem like long shots, it's tough to dismiss any recruit from choosing Nashville after the work the Commodore staff has pulled off so far this year.
The Commodores' wish list of recruits still includes guys like five-star quarterback Gunner Kiel, four-star tailback Wes Brown, and three-star receiver A.J. Liddell. James Franklin has suggested that he'll be looking for one more big time player at each offensive skill position before the year is through. A big time performance in the Liberty Bowl could be a major factor in wooing a player that could put Vanderbilt in the top 15 recruiting classes after decades of struggling to be counted amongst the top 75.