RECRUITING: St. Thomas Aquinas Pipeline Continues With Tyson Russell

Coach Mason and his staff are back on the board in the 2021 class, picking up Tyson Russell, a 3-star CB out of St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, FL. According to 247 Sports, Russell is ranked as the No. 94 CB nationally and the No. 119 player in Florida. He held offers from Minnesota, Missouri, Maryland, NC State, and others. 

This is now Vandy’s 5th commit in the 2021 class and the 3rd addition to the secondary. 

Although Russell may not be an extremely high prospect, according to Andrew Ivins, who covers recruiting in Florida for 247 Sports, he has upside due to his size and speed.

“Tyson, to me, is all about the upside. He was a rotational player that picked off three passes as a junior for an STA program that went 15-0. He has got some length and some foot speed – which leads me to believe that he can get it done out on the boundary. Toss in the fact that he’s got some NFL bloodlines and I think he has the potential to end up being a bit of a steal for the Commodores. He’s just going to need some time to develop.” 

Here’s some of his film.


With Allan George, Dontye Carrier-Williams, and Randall Haynie, being in their final year of eligibility, Russell will help provide depth next year as well as talent to the CB position.

The Fort Lauderdale native is also the teammate of Jaydon Hood, a top linebacker target for Vanderbilt. Tyson’s commitment came just 24 hours after his virtual visit with Coach Mason and the rest of the staff.

“I really just loved the coaching staff and what they stood for,” Russell said. “It seemed like a family atmosphere, and talking to the coaches, the head coach, that’s what really helped me make my decision.”

If there is anything Commodore fans should be taking away from this commitment, it’s that Mason and his new staff seem to be appealing to recruits, which should be something to look forward to. Vanderbilt fans should expect many more commits soon as the current situation with Covid-19 seems to be causing much earlier decisions.

“I think Covid-19 has really sped up the process with not having spring and a lot of those things,” Russell said. “I think looking at my options, I felt like after talking with the coaches and meeting with them and talked it over with my family, that was the best decision to make.”

With the addition Vanderbilt moves from the nation’s No. 63 class to No. 56 and remains No. 13 in the SEC, ahead of Ole Miss.


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