We're a bit behind on this, but Vanderbilt added a huge commitment to their class of 2014 last week when 4-star tailback Mikale Wilbon gave James Franklin his verbal bond. Wilbon, a 5'8", 191 pound runner out of Chicago, is a Rivals Top 250 selection and rated as the 14th best back in the country by the service. He chose Vandy over offers from Missouri, Arizona, Arizona State, and Arkansas.
Wilbon joins quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels as the team's four-star recruits early in the 2014 process. He'll add to a backfield that will lose senior Wesley Tate after this season, one year after the graduation of all-time leading rusher Zac Stacy. Wilbon will join former four-star RB Brian Kimbrow, Jerron Seymour, and fellow '14 recruit Dallas Rivers on the team's depth chart next August.
The pickup is a big one for Franklin and his staff. The Commodores needed to add depth to a position that has a standout candidate in Kimbrow and a proven player in Seymour, but little else for 2014. Wilbon is a bit short for the position, but he's also a powerful compact runner who should weigh more than 200 pounds when he arrives in Nashville. He could give the 'Dores the short-yard presence that Stacy had given this team in 2011 and 2012.
The Chicago native is Vanderbilt's eighth commitment in the class of 2014. His presence has helped make the Commodores the 20th best recruiting class in the country at this early stage, according to Rivals. ESPN currently has Franklin's haul rated at 15th overall.