As the offers start to slow down, and the summer sun heats up, the heat builds on Coach Mason and the rest of his staff to grow their recruiting momentum going into the 2015 season. So far, Mason has stuck to his Stanford ideals: that he believes in his ability to develop players, but that he also knows how to recruit. This week, since offers are starting to slow down, We are going to take a look at 12 of the top targets to fill the remaining spots of the #Select16. Clicking on each name will lead you to his 247Sports profile. Only having 6 open scholarships for this class is definitely going to hurt, but multiple people around the university have said to expect the Commodores to be a tad "picky" about the rest of the 2016 class.
Top Targets (no particular order)
Damarea Crockett- Crockett is a running back from Little Rock Christian Academy in Little Rock, AR. He shows the great field vision needed to succeed in the offense run by new offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig. He is known to be waiting for an offer from the in-state Razorbacks, but his current offer list includes Boise State, Arizona State, and Memphis.
JoeJuan Williams- JoeJuan has been known to be a top target of the Commodores for quite some time now. He currently plays cornerback for nearby Hendersonville HS in Hendersonville, TN. Williams is a Top-5 prospect in the state of Tennessee, and Vandy is competing against the likes of Auburn, Tennessee, Notre Dame and many other "big-time" programs for the commitment from Williams. It will be interesting to see in the coming weeks if Vandy is included in his upcoming Top 6.
Chanse Sylvie- Sylvie is a safety from Louisiana powerhouse Calvary Baptist. Sound familiar? Calvary Baptist is also the home to top quarterback prospect and current Ole Miss commit Shea Patterson. Sylvie has climbed up the rankings significantly in the past several weeks and is now rated as a Top 10 safety nationally. Sylvie has other offers from TCU, UT, Oklahoma, and Ole Miss among several others.
Jovan Swann- Swann is a DT who currently plays for Center Grove HS, in Greenwood, IN. Swann is thought of as a Top 10 recruit in the state of Indiana, and his playing style would allow him to come in and contribute from the moment he steps on campus. Swann's offer list includes Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Kentucky among many others.
Donta Evans-Evans is an interesting target for Coach Mason and the rest of the staff. Evans plays at hybrid LB/DE for Archer HS in Lawrenceville, GA. Other than Vanderbilt, currently his two other top schools are Auburn and Kentucky. While this looks like a situation where the 'Dores may be able to beat these two SEC programs for a recruit, sources have said multiple times that Evans is waiting for an offer from UGA.
Ikenna Okeke- Okeke is a major in-state target for Vandy. he plays for Smyrna HS in Smyrna, TN and plays S and WR for them. While Vanderbilt is currently listed as one of his leaders, he is thought of to be just a matter of days away from committing to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. He would be a very impressive recruiting win for this staff.
Coy Cronk- Cronk is one of the more recent offers that are on this list, as he was just offered in the middle of last month. Cronk is a powerful offensive lineman from Lafayette, IN. Cronk has other offers from Indiana, Illinois, and Ball State, and is definitely one to watch as we get closer to the 2015 season.
Rontavious Groves- Groves is a recruit Coach Mason just CANNOT let leave Nashville. He is the number three prospect in the state and a Top 250 player nationally. Groves plays WR for Pearl Cohn HS in Nashville, and his other offers include West Virginia,Tennessee, and Ole Miss and several others. Groves would be another impressive coup for the Commodores, and would probably require their on-field progress to be substantial this season.
Jordan Wilson- Wilson is another recruit that this staff CANNOT let get out of Nashville. He is a big bodied tight end (6-foot-5) currently playing for Montgomery Bell Academy. Wilson has Vanderbilt among his leaders currently, but his list also includes North Carolina, Missouri, and Louisville. The staff needs to do whatever it takes to keep him in Nashville.
C.J. Riley- Riley is BIG WR (6-foot-4) who has the chance to go up significantly in the rankings if he is able to grow on his junior season. He is currently plays for North Broward Prep in Pompano Beach, FL. Riley is rated as a top 150 prospect in the state of Florida, and a top 125 WR in the Nation. Riley currently appears to be a UCF lean, and some of his other offers include West Virginia, Rutgers, Cincinnati, and UConn to name a few.
While these 10 recruits could definitely be the ones that round out the #Select16 let's be honest here: recruiting boards change daily, sometimes even more often than that. Over the past couple of weeks, Coach Mason has had more than 20 of his top targets commit to other schools, a number that will continue to grow as the summer goes on. Look for the Commodores to stay active, but because of the limit on scholarships available, Vanderbilt may actually be forced to not be able to accept all commitments that they receive for 2016, something other SEC schools know little about.