Vonn Bell had Vanderbilt on his list, but not high enough to seriously consider choosing Vanderbilt. Anticipating this, James Franklin worked to make sure that at least the in-state rival Tennessee Volunteers wouldn't get him.
Live on ESPNU, national top-50 recruit Vonn Bell is announcing his choice between Ohio State, Alabama and the home-state Tennessee Volunteers. When Bell puts on a Buckeyes hat, the Vandy war room roars. Getting him out of the SEC and away from the in-state rival Vols is a good thing.
"Enjoy the Big Ten!" someone in the room yells.
Bell had Vanderbilt on his list, but it was not among the favorites. Franklin knew that, so he tailored his message to Bell when he met with him.
"Let me tell you," Franklin said. "Ohio State would be a heck of a choice."
Later in the day, a prospect deciding between Ole Miss and Auburn chooses the Tigers, and that's well-received at Vandy also – the Commodores don't play Auburn again for six years.
Sometimes it's not who you get, but who your rivals don't get.
"That's a victory," Franklin says of Bell's decision. "That's a victory."
Thanks, Coach Franklin. I guess we'll consider it compensation for kind of screwing us on the 2013 season opener.