Orlando Lake Highland Prep defensive end Landon Stokes said that Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin's approach to academics and athletics were two of the main reasons why committed to the Commodores early Tuesday afternoon.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound junior chose the Commodores over Clemson, Missouri, Cincinnati, Utah and Mississippi State.
"Coach Franklin said a lot of players get intimidated by the academics at Vanderbilt, but when you look at the way student-athletes succeed at the school it becomes clear that it can be done," Stokes said. "He has the players in the program thinking about winning the SEC championship and competing for a national championship. I wanted to be part of that."
Stokes was on an unofficial visit to the school and had a chance to have lunch with former teammate James Fromang before making his decision. When he texted the incoming freshman offensive lineman the news, Stokes said he could sense his excitement through the phone message.
"I could tell Blake was excited and there was little question in my mind that Vanderbilt was the right place for me," Stokes said. "I came here just to make sure and this trip left no doubts. It really came down to Vanderbilt and Clemson but I was leaning towards Vandy the whole time."
Stokes is the 14th commitment for Vanderbilt in the Class of 2013. The junior recorded 20 tackles for loss and nine sacks during his junior season.