Vanderbilt Football: Commodores Loading Up on Tight Ends on Recruiting Trail

Chad Minton@@chad_mintonCorrespondent IJanuary 21, 2013

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 31: Head coach James Franklin of the Vanderbilt Commodores reacts celebrates at the end of the game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack during the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl at LP Field on December 31, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. Vanderbilt won 38-24. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

With the 2012 season being a season to remember for the Vanderbilt football program, head coach James Franklin is quickly looking to build off that with a strong recruiting class.

The Commodores signed their fourth tight end of the 2013 recruiting season by getting Mitchell Parsons out of Colorado.

Parsons was originally committed to Colorado before deciding to jump on board with the Commodores.

The big question heading into next season is whether or not the Commodores can sustain this recent success, or just revert back to their old ways.

This is a signing that the old Vanderbilt would've never had a chance for, but Franklin deserves a ton of credit for changing the culture of this program.

Parsons had basically eliminated Vanderbilt from his list of choices, but he demonstrated that recruits can change their minds rather quickly.

This fast decision by a 4-star recruit is a sign of things to come for the Vanderbilt football program. Highly regarded recruits like Parsons don't just spontaneously change their minds to go to a program that's not on the rise.

With this recent signing of Parsons, Vanderbilt easily has a top 25 recruiting class for 2013.

That would've been unheard of just a few seasons ago.

The fact that the Commodores have signed so many tight ends shows that Franklin wants to transform this offense into one of the more dangerous ones in the SEC.

Vanderbilt has always had a respectable defense, but the offense has traditionally struggled to score points against the more formidable SEC defenses.

Since Franklin has become head coach two seasons ago, Vanderilt has jumped from 110th to 74th nationally in total offense.

There's still a lot of room for improvement, but Franklin seems to be addressing that with these recent signings on the recruiting trail.

Nathan Marcus, Mack Weaver and Brandon Vandenburg are the other tight ends that currently have commitments to the Commodores.

All three are 3-star recruits that figure to play a big part in making this offense a high-scoring one for at least the next few years.

Tight end isn't the only offensive position the Commodores have loaded up on in their 2013 recruiting class.

Johnathon McCrary is a highly regarded quarterback prospect out of Georgia who was signed last year, and Carlos Burse is a solid 3-star wide receiver prospect who is also out of Georgia and is currently committed to the Commodores.

Now that Franklin is loading up with promising offensive recruits, it looks like Vanderbilt is here to stay after their 9-4 season.