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Anchor Drop, December 17, 2021: The Foundational Class

21 prospects signed with Vanderbilt football this week.

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Tennessee Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning.

Optional Musical Accompaniment

The three-day early signing period closes today, but it looks like Vanderbilt’s work is done. The Commodores signed 21 prospects early, and as of this writing the class ranks 37th nationally in the 247 Sports composite — and it’s actually ranked 23rd in 247’s own ratings. (That ranking does include three players who are currently committed but haven’t signed yet. Two of those, Jeffrey Ugo and Yilanan Ouattara, committed earlier this week and so don’t seem to be at any risk of going elsewhere. The third, KD Hutchinson — well, I’m not sure.)

There actually isn’t a ton of star power in the class; the secret sauce here is that the class is deep on solid players. Of the 24 players in the class (counting the three who haven’t signed), 18 are ranked in the top 1000 of the 247 Sports composite. “Top 1000” might not sound like much, but consider that with 65 Power 5 schools (counting Notre Dame) and 25 spots per team, that’s 1625 players who sign a Power 5 scholarship annually. Being in the top 1000 usually means you’re a solid Power 5-level player, and most of the class had other offers from Power 5 programs.

I thought all along that if we were going to see hope for the football program under Clark Lea, it was going to be signing day and not anything that happened on the field. And that’s exactly what we just saw.

SEC Basketball Schedule and Picks

Season to date: 7-11 ATS, 13-5 totals

Furman at Mississippi State (6:00 PM CT, SEC Network): Mississippi State -7.5, Under 137.5

Scoreboard

NFL: Chiefs 34, Chargers 28.

NBA: Pacers 122, Pistons 113 ... Nets 114, 76ers 105 ... Knicks 116, Rockets 103 ... Suns 118, Wizards 98.

NHL: Canadiens 3, Flyers 2 ... Lightning 2, Senators 1 ... Kings 4, Panthers 1 ... Golden Knights 5, Devils 3 ... Hurricanes 5, Red Wings 3 ... Islanders 3, Bruins 1 ... Predators 5, Avalanche 2 ... Sabres 3, Wild 2 ... Oilers 5, Blue Jackets 2 ... Canucks 5, Sharks 2.