Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin pitched Ohio State to Vonn Bell

By Vico on February 7, 2013 at 11:38a

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.


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bucknut8's picture

wow thats interesting. but thank you James Franklin! Vanderbilt might of just shot up my board for my favorite SEC team lol!


GoldenBearBuckeye's picture

Yep. and Jeffrey Dalmer is my favorite mass murderer

+1 HS
Denny's picture

Go Bucks.


Poison nuts's picture

Wow! You're good you..

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Statutoryglory's picture

Well Dahmer is from B1G country...

buckeyedude's picture

He was from Ohio, specifically.



Denny's picture



Phillips.449's picture

Once a Buckeye always a Buckeye

brandonbauer87's picture

That made me laugh but I anticipate seeing down votes. +1 for you sir.

Phillips.449's picture

Should i have used sarcasm font or put a smiley face at the end? :)

+1 HS
drumsontheside's picture

I refuse to believe a head coach at Vanderbilt had any impact on a decision Urban Meyer and Withers were working hard for. At one point this was a Saban Meyer thing. Vanderbilt? Haha

This gets put in the 'random fan tweets' level of recruiting impact.


rdubs's picture

I have to believe it is a step above random fan tweets, but you are right at the end of the day not a huge impact.  Regardless, if other teams are recruiting for us I'll take it.
Also I seem to remember hearing rumors that Woody would encourage people to go to ND over ttun.

drumsontheside's picture

Upvote, good point. Woody did say that, good enough for him good enough for me!


Unky Buck's picture

Never had a problem with Vandy (really until they screwed us on the schedule next year, but even then it was an "meh" kind of reaction)...the just reaffirms my seminal liking of them, lol.
That is a different angle to look at with recruiting though. When you know you don't have a chance, do you start pitching other schools in order to benefit you? I wonder how often this happens...

Rock over London; Rock on Chicago. Timex: It takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'

BuddhaBuck's picture

Makes my Simon board that I posted on one of the Vonn Bell forums look a little less stupid now...  :)

Don't text while driving.

ATXbucknut's picture

I guess some of the Buckeyes are paying it forward.  Like Eddie George...
"Former Ohio State tailback Eddie George, whose vouching for [UM assistant coach Fred] Jackson helped lure [RB Derrick] Green to the Buckeyes' fiercest rival.
"I know he talked to certain guys who played in Columbus," Jackson said. "I know he talked to Eddie George, who I've known since he was at Fork Union (Military Academy). Those guys had enough respect for me (to speak highly of me)."

buckeyefan808's picture

recruiting is crazy
Let's pay coach franklin back if a future recruit has final choices of Vandy and scUM. haha.

Dean's picture

I have to think this has an impact.  When it's Meyer and Withers telling you to come to OSU, I'm sure it's persuasive, but when it's the coach of another school telling you to be a Buckeye, the (perceived) lack of self-interest involved in saying that gives it that much more weight, even if it comes from the coach of a less prestigious program (though a coach who seems to be bringing that program in the right direction).

VintonCountyBuck's picture

Almost reminds me of how Woody when asked about possibly losing out on a highly-rated recruit, would always claim to be "The best recruiter Notre Dame ever had."

“Right now, Michigan is not at the pinnacle of college football, and that’s all Urban Meyer cares about...He’s been there and knows what it takes to get there.” 

bukyze's picture

That was to make sure they didn't go to scUM.

Estrada's picture

I was thinking the same thing.  
It may not play much of a role, but if you're really 50/50 with your decision (e.g. when Woody was recruiting the kid was 50/50 between scUM/ND) every little tidbit from people you respect helps (and I'm assuming Woody's word carried a bit of heft in the Heart of it All back when he was pounding the recruiting trail).
Though I doubt it was actually 50/50 for Vonn (it was probably more heart vs. head, and lucky for us head won out).

Rfahncke's picture

Thats EXACTLY what this reminded me of. Lol! 

"Have you earned your buckeye today?"

DetroitBuckeye's picture

That's hilarious, I used to hate this guy because of perving on gf's of his assistants but this is just great.

tennbuckeye19's picture

Living near Nashville, I hear all about Vandy sports quite often, and honestly, they haven't had much success, especially in football.
And truth be told, I'm really not a big James Franklin fan. The guy is a talker and tries to be flashy and all in your face and says controversial stuff to draw attention to him and his program. The guy just rubs me the wrong way. But Vandy is a great school. I have several friends who went there and one who played baseball there and was drafted. Anyway, Franklin is doing things at Vandy that haven't ever been done. But I don't know how long he will stay there or how long it will be till his act gets old. 
I doubt him saying what he supposedly did to Bell had any bearing on Bell's decision. But if it did, I'm happy, cause living in Tennessee, I'm surrounded by Vol fans. Stealing anything from them IMO is a good thing.

DetroitBuckeye's picture

Your friend who played baseball there and was drafted wouldn't happen to be David Price would it?

DetroitBuckeye's picture

Holy shit really, you really know David Price.  I watch the rays down here all the time so that's awesome.

DefendYoungstown's picture

Cool story bro...

What we can't do in the air we'll do on the ground.

Johnny Ginter's picture

youre gonna like the end of todays dubcast

Buckeyejason's picture



Culp's Freaking Hill's picture

I've always had a soft spot in my heart for The Harvard of the South, especially since their namesake hooked the Union up in donating a significant steamship.

Twitter: @conquestnorman

Citrus's picture

I think Vandy would be a great add to the B1G. If that happened, I imagine they would pull away from UT and have a decent fb program.

buckeyedude's picture

We got Rutgers.



AtlGABuckeye's picture

Being born and raised in Atlanta I know our SEC foes well. I, too, have a soft spot for Vanderbilt. Vandy is the only school worth a damn(academically) in that conference. Way back when, I had applied to bama as a safety school. REALLY safe safety school. If memory serves the required SAT score was an 850 and 2.0 GPA. And I'm pretty sure you got 250 points just for bubbling your name in correctly.

"Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

BuckeyeVet's picture

**REDUNDANT ALERT**  Sorry! Vintoncounty beat me to it!
Btw, on a historical note, when Woody was recruiting and he knew he was losing a recruit he would always talk up Notre Dame as a great school & program, to help steer them away from scUM.

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."          - Groucho Marx

"The recipient of Oyster's ONLY down vote".

kmp10's picture

This Franklin guy is just abrasive. He makes ridiculous comments for public consumption, i.e. hot wife or no hire, Nicky Satan, etc. I know, by Vanderbilt standards, that he's been quite successful there, but he comes off as such an ass that I believe it's unlikely he ever gets a higher profile job... 

+1 HS
ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Smart man.  And that's not just Buckeye bias - smart for his program, too, regardless of how much impact it actually had on Bell's decision.  It had more impact than you may think if his decision was as tough as it seemed.  Franklin's kind of an ass but I like him. 

Class of 2010.

Mush's picture

...and the "Tennsee" Vols blogs blow up again, but hey "that's 'crootin"

Knarcisi's picture

This guy must be an exbred. Opposite of the rest of that stuff going on in the south. 

buckeyedude's picture

This is absurd. I thought SEC teams cheered for other SEC teams? Don't they chant "SEC! SEC! SEC!" at their games? Why would they want a top player/kid from SEC country to play in the B1G?! It makes no sense!



TexasBuck11's picture

I guess when your team sucks its more fun to root for other teams not to get big name recruits than for your team to sign them. At least it keeps the, busier on NSD