Five-star Eddie Vanderdoes has been one of the most coveted prospects out West since the get-go, combining great quickness with impressive size and strength. Our Greg Biggins gives you the scoop on Vanderdoes' skills, recruitment and more.
Get to know him
High school: Placer High (Auburn, Calif.)
Rating: (No. 2 overall DT)
Biggest strength: His strength. He might be the most powerful lineman in the country and can get great penetration and collapse the pocket, even when being double-teamed. He also plays with a motor and is a relentless lineman that just wears down an opposing guard/center by the end of games. Combine that with a very quick first step off the line for a 310-pound tackle and high-level technique for a high school lineman and it's easy to see why Vanderdoes is such a tremendous prospect.
Area for improvement: It's definitely not a weakness but Vanderdoes could probably improve his overall conditioning level a bit. He's "country strong" right now but once he hits a college weight room and refines his body, he'll take his game to another level.
NFL player he reminds us of: Vanderdoes has a similar frame and playing style to current New England Patriots tackle Vince Wilfork. Vanderdoes is impossible to move in the middle, is already a great run stuffer and might even be a better natural pass rusher than Wilfork was at the same stage in development.
Q: Vanderdoes was a long-time USC commit before backing out in December. What caused him to de-commit and what has kept the Trojans in the mix for his services?
Biggins: Vanderdoes de-committed from USC in order to give other schools a fair shot at him. He didn't want to take his trips as a committed player, feeling he wouldn't be giving the other schools a fair shot if he was still committed to USC. He also added that the more he learned about some of the other schools, the more he realized he may have committed a little too soon and wanted to go through the process one more time to make sure he made the right choice.
Q: What’s the latest on the other schools he’s considering and what indication, if any, do we have of which way he’s leaning?
Biggins: Vanderdoes has played things very close to the vest and not given any indication where he's leaning or even if he is leaning anywhere. UCLA has been closely connected with Vanderdoes ever since his official visit there and could be USC's toughest challenge. Washington is recruiting him very hard and Notre Dame is a major player as well. Alabama just recently jumped in to the mix and will get his final official visit, and you can obviously never rule out the national champs.
Q: What are the biggest positives he will bring to the college field?
Biggins: There aren't many positions harder to fill than defensive tackle, and Vanderdoes is a guy who can anchor a defense. He's not just extremely talented but has a great work ethic, is a natural leader on and off the field and is a player you never have to worry about in terms of his effort level.
Q: Does he have a shot to get on the field as a freshman?
Biggins: I would be very surprised if Vanderdoes isn't an impact player as a true freshman. He might be the most talented defensive tackle prospect to come out of California in the last decade and has every physical tool you could want, plus the attitude, work ethic and toughness to match.
Q: He seems like a sure thing, as he has consistently been listed among our top performers at most every major recruit event when pitted against top competition. Is there anything to suggest he won’t make a smooth transition to the college level?
Biggins: Vanderdoes should make a smooth transition to college ball with the obvious challenges all freshmen face, like dealing with the speed of the game and going up against players how own size and strength. Saying that, Vanderdoes has college-level size, strength and athleticism for a tackle right now and is as ready to go as any player in this class.
In his own words
"Right now, it’s all relatively even. I’ll have a better idea after the last two visits (to Notre Dame and Alabama), but I don’t want to announce a leader because it’s not fair to the other schools when I haven’t been on campus yet. I haven’t seen those two so I won’t know a leader until the very end." -- Jan. 20