Top Tennessee RB Kimbrow commits to Vanderbilt

Move over Derek Dooley, you have some serious competition on the recruiting trail with James Franklin in your backyard.

The first-year Vanderbilt head coach continued to assemble a stellar Class of 2012, as the Commodores were able to land perhaps the state of Tennessee's top recruit in running back Brian Kimbrow, who verbally committed to the school on Friday.

Brian KimbrowVandy-bound RB Brian Kimbrow ran for 1,557 yards and scored 15 touchdowns in 2010.

The East High running back, rated the state's top prospect and the nation's second-best all-purpose back by, chose the Commodores over a list of finalists that included Tennessee, Mississippi State, Notre Dame and Auburn. Kimbrow's relationship with Franklin was a big factor in the running back's decision.

"He's like a father figure," Kimbrow said. "He's the kind of coach you can call at one in the morning if you're having a problem. It's a family environment there and a place where I feel comfortable."

Vandy's strong academics also came into play.

"It's exciting," he said. "Football is something that's not always promised to you. In the long run, being at a school with good academics is like a win-win situation."

The 5-9, 165-pounder ran for 1,557 yards and scored 15 touchdowns in 2010 and consistently is able to run sub-4.3 40-yard dashes.

Two other Nashville-area products committed to the Commodores on Friday: Caleb Azubike, a 6-4, 240-pound defensive end and Corey Batey, a 6-3, 183-pound wide receiver.

As I mentioned a few weeks back in my NFP On Campus column, Franklin is making huge strides in a short amount of time in Nashville.

Video highlights courtesy of 247SportsStudio.

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