Vanderbilt’s family ties just got a bit stronger. Jalen Pinkney, a three-star recruit out of Norcross, GA and younger brother of redshirt freshman tight end Jared Pinkney, made his commitment to the Commodores official Wednesday by signing his letter of intent.
Pinkney, a 6’4, 235-pound defensive end, will have the opportunity to add another disruptive pass rusher to the team’s defensive front. He turned down scholarship offers from Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Boston College, and Colorado State to keep his family’s Vandy roots strong.
Pinkney is a lean pass rusher who could be in line for a redshirt year as he adds some bulk to his frame. He has a solid first step and strong awareness that allows him to shed blockers when his passer moves up in the pocket. He was solid coming around the edge against high school offensive linemen, but he’ll have to add some new moves to be an effective defensive end in the SEC. He could find himself moving to outside linebacker in Derek Mason’s 3-4 defense, but may not be fast enough to handle the coverage duties that come with playing in the second level.
Jonathan Wynn and Dare Odeyingbo appear set to hold down the team’s defensive end positions in 2017, but Pinkney could be in line for significant playing time in 2018 and beyond if he can flash the athleticism his brother has brought to the tight end position.