When Vanderbilt earned a commitment from Florida power back Jamauri Wakefield this week, something seemed a bit off. After all, the Commodores already had a big 2016 commit from Illinois back Sam Brodner, and both players shared a similar running style that carved up defensive backs with crushing hits at top speed.
On Wednesday, we learned why. Brodner decided to reopen his recruiting, decommiting from Vanderbilt in the process.
Was it the firing of Coach Bankins? Or was it something bigger? Whatever it was, running back Brodner has decided not to come to West End next fall. While it's interesting to note that the running back core would have been more dynamic with Brodner he really wasn't a different type of runner than Wakefield. Without jumping to any conclusions, it's important to note that two of the schools Brodner is looking into are Iowa and Iowa State. It's possible he was worried about location or it could have been a function of the recent fame he's earned as the Chicago Tribune's state player of the year.
Either way, I'd expect to see Vanderbilt look at another running back for this class. There is a lot of hype building on Tre' Miller (as well there should be) but there is always the odd man out at other schools too. I've been very vocal on how important it was to add depth at the running back spot, especially with Jay Hockaday looking more like a defensive player. This does free up a scholarship for the Commodores who currently sit at 14 players signed in a 16 man class. However, there have been rumors that Tre Bell is transferring to UConn. If that happens the Commodores would be allowed to sign a 17th player, something that could pay off in this class.