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Better Know A Signee: Steven Sannieniola

Yep, the defensive backfield is getting a boost.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 20 Vanderbilt at Ole Miss Photo by Chris McDill/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Steven Sannieniola

Position: Defensive back

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 180

Hometown: Bowie, Maryland

High School: Quince Orchard

247 Sports composite: #961 (national), #76 (safety), #23 (Maryland)

Rivals: 3-star, #25 (Maryland)

Other Power 5 offers: Purdue, West Virginia, Boston College, Duke, Maryland, Pitt, Virginia

When I look for reasons for optimism in what Clark Lea is building at Vanderbilt, a good place to start is this: we’re getting to the back end of the recruiting class (Steven Sannieniola is the sixth-lowest rated prospect in the class, per the 247 Sports composite), and he’s still a guy who had multiple Power 5 offers and ranks in the top 1000 of the national composite rankings.

For context, even in Derek Mason’s best recruiting class (2018), eight of 21 signees ranked outside the top 1000. In Clark Lea’s first signing class, only four of 22 do. (Granted, two additional players who are committed but haven’t signed are outside the top 1000.) When you consider that, with 64 Power 5 schools plus Notre Dame, and each school signing 25 players a year, that’s 1625 players a year who will sign Power 5 scholarships — and the top 1000 is solidly in that range. The flipside is, if you’re signing a bunch of questionable takes, some of those guys will inevitably have to play — and while the recruiting services miss sometimes, on average they’re usually not wrong.