Under head coach Bobby Johnson Vanderbilt has recruited Memphis hard with familiar names such now graduated Curtis Gatewood and current players Current Chris Marve, John Stokes, DeAndre Jones and Chavez Scott all hailing from Memphis. However, Warren Belin, who recruited Memphis for Vanderbilt for years, left VU for Georgia shortly after the 2010 National Signing Day.
Head coach Rodney Saulsberry of Whitehaven High School has built a solid program. Whitehaven, like rival White Station, is a school of interest to the Vanderbilt staff because it stresses sound academics while developing solid football players. Saulsberry talked some about his school, "We build our program with quality students. That's one thing that helps us out tremendously. Winning always helps but a product of winning is having good kids. We are part magnet school and part is neighborhood school. Part of our school is optional where you have to apply to get in and part of our school if you live within the area you can come here."
Whitehaven currently has 10 players from its roster listed in the Scout.com database. VandyMania.com spoke with Saulsberry about several who are in contact with the Vanderbilt staff. Saulsberry says these players have solid ACT scores, the type of kids Vanderbilt goes after.
Saulsberry on Thompson: "A great technician. He also performed very well at the U.S. Army Combine. He played tackle for us but he will more than likely kick inside to guard when he goes to college. He's an inside guy but he has the footwork; he can pull, he can trap, he can do all those things in high school but we know he's going to more than likely move to guard when he goes to college."
Saulsberry on Harris: "He's the perfect hybrid linebacker, he can do it all. He can play over the slot, he can play in the box, he can play off the edge as a rusher. The versatility. At 6-3, 210 he has the frame that you can put the weight on to really fit the mold also. The sky is the limit for him. He's long with long arms. His arms kind of stretch to his knees."
WR Mose Frazier
Sualsberry on Frazier: "He was our leading receiver last year. Started every game for us. Great hands and makes big plays when big plays are needed. A go-to-go guy. Makes a lot of clutch catches for us. We went out and did a lot of skill work in 7-on-7 this spring he's looked tremendous so I'm excited about the spring. Interest is starting to peak now. We were down at the U.S. Army National Combine in San Antonio and he stood out. They picked him as one of the top receivers at the combine. Things are looking up for him. He ran a 4.6 on the electronic laser time at the combine."
According to Saulsberry, Vanderbilt is also in the mix for 3-star Scout.com Terry Redden, like "everyone" else. Redden, a 6-3, 275 defensive/offensive lineman who already has offers from Memphis, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Clemson. He is scheduled to visit Georgia on April 10th.
Saulsberry says that the Vanderbilt football operations staff has maintained contact with him since the departure of Belin to Georgia but he has yet to meet the new Vanderbilt recruiting coach assigned to Memphis, "I need to call them back and see which coach they are going to start sending down this way." Belin was previously recruiting the players mentioned above for Vanderbilt. Regardless, the successful prep coach understand that the Commodore staff is in somewhat of a transition and that things may not move as fast for Vanderbilt in Memphis as they have in the past, "I know everything is going to be coming a little slower for them."
Hopefully the Commodore staff can quickly get a solid recruiting coach down to the hottest bed of football talent in the state of Tennessee.