Commodore Nation received great news on Wednesday as Alan “Taco” Wright committed to Vanderbilt. The 3-star CB prospect decided to Anchor Down instead of pursuing opportunities with Maryland, Memphis, Cincinnati, Air Force and ECU. The 5’11” 180 lb signee looks to continue the strong DB tradition at Vanderbilt. His film shows high football IQ with a quick twitch ability to hone in on the football and make quarterbacks pay.
Many fans who follow Vanderbilt followed this recruitment eagerly, understanding that Taco is the younger brother of highly touted 2020 QB signee Mike Wright. The Atlanta native made quite a splash when he flipped to Vanderbilt from UCF. His speed showcased on the track and in his game film have Vanderbilt fans optimistic for a game changer on the offensive side of the ball. Both Wright brothers showcase great speed and quickness needed in a conference dominated by athletic prowess.
They will also provide a sense of energy and personality to the locker room.
Coach Derek Mason has shown a strong acumen for successfully signing talented sets of brothers at Vanderbilt. Let’s take a look at some family ties who have been or currently are in the program:
The Odeyingbo Brothers – One of the most famous pairs of brothers who have played for Vandy recently, the Odeyingbo brothers Dare (2015-2018) and Dayo (2017-present) terrorized opposing QBs, OLs, and RBs while playing together. Dare had a successful Commodore career before signing NFL stints with the Buccaneers and Bengals. Dare’s 2018 (senior) stats included 13 starts, 28 total tackles, 15 solo, 1 INT, 1 PBU, 1 QB Hurry, 1 Fumble Recovery, and 1.5 TFLs. Dayo also has NFL potential and is poised to anchor the DL during the 2020 season. His 2019 campaign included preseason All-SEC 4th Team Recognition (Athlon), 11 starts, 45 tackles, 30 solo, 12.0 TFLs, 1.5 QB Sacks, and 2 QB hurries. Many fans have also enjoyed the passionate social media fan presence of their mother, MamaO.
The Orji Brothers – Alston (2018-present) and Anfernee (2019-present) Orji both came to Vanderbilt with high expectations based on their ratings and high school accolades. Alston played in 11 games as a true freshman (2018, making 4 tackles) yet only played in 4 games while making 2 tackles during the 2019 season. He was a consensus 4* recruit and the 9th overall recruit out of the talented state of Texas, according to Rivals.com. Anfernee saw time as a true freshman in 2019, playing in 9 games as a safety and on special teams. He had 6 tackles, 4 solo, 1 QB hurry, and 1 pass defended. He was a Rivals 4* prospect. The upside is there for both brothers and Commodore Nation hopes that DC Ted Roof can aid in their development.
Commodore fans should also note that the pair’s younger brother Alex Orji is a 3* dual-threat QB in the class of 2022.
The Smith Brothers – Emmanuel (2014-2017) and Josh (2015-2018) Smith both had big roles in Commodore defenses. The pair of brothers played at Oakland High School in the Nashville area and stayed local. Emmanuel’s senior season (2017) included 29 solo stops, 57 total tackles and 4 TFLs. Josh’s senior season (2018) included 35 solo tackles, 61 total tackles, 3.5 QB sacks, 8 TFLs, 3 PBUs, 3 QB hurries, and 1 forced fumble. Emmanuel has hopped around the NFL as a free agent and was recently on the Chiefs practice squad in 2019 and Josh signed with the Titans in 2019.
The Pinkney Brothers – Jalen (2017, since transferred to Hutchinson CC and UCF) and Jared (2015-2019) Pinkney shared the field as Commodores for a short time. Jalen saw action in 7 games during his true freshman season before transferring out. He played in 4 games for the UCF Knights in 2019, making 5 tackles. Jared had a very successful career at TE, highlighted by a big RS Junior year with 50 rec., 774 receiving yards, and 7 TDs. He’s since been signed to the Atlanta Hawks as a free agent after going undrafted following a disappointing 2020 offensive showing that wasn’t entirely his fault.
Potential Future Set of Brothers:
The Hamilton Brothers – Elijah Hamilton (2016-Present) has progressed solidly during his Commodore career, most recently playing in 12 games, making 12 tackles (8 solo) in 2019 as a RS Junior. Vanderbilt is currently in the mix for younger brother, Jackson Hamilton, in the class of 2021. He is a 3* outside linebacker prospect who announced Vanderbilt is in his top 8 with Louisville, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, and Boston College. He recently was offered by West Virginia as well.