Vanderbilt’s football, the king of nerds? A potential benefit of the new SEC – The Athletic look


Tim Corbin turned 60 on Thursday and celebrated by arriving in San Diego and preparing to spot baseball hopefuls at the Area Code Games, as the recruiting doesn’t stop for milestone birthdays. Not even for the milestone birthdays of the coaches who hang out with Bill Belichick – as Corbin did a day earlier, spending time with the coach of his favorite sports team at the Patriots’ camp in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

“I just wanted to clear my head and do something unrelated to baseball,” said the Vanderbilt baseball coach. “I love watching the coaches coach and the teachers teaching. And I certainly love watching him teach.

And then it was back to routine at an event Corbin attends every year to give his assistants a brief break from the road. Recruitment is a priority in varsity athletics, even when you are at the top of your sport. It’s also a priority when it comes to Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC.

Vanderbilt Baseball is already recruiting nationally, at the highest level, taking advantage of all that the university, the city, the conference and the program have to offer. Vanderbilt football tries to follow this roadmap, as much as a football program can mimic a baseball program. And while Corbin is a self-proclaimed “traditionalist” who doesn’t rejoice in the latest realignment earthquake, he can see how freshman football coach Clark Lea can benefit from it.

Consider that SEC schools have a growing resource advantage due, in part, to this expansion. Consider the pool of elite prospects who prioritize academics and imagine them comparing Vanderbilt to peers like Stanford, Duke, Northwestern, and Notre Dame in the years to come. Vanderbilt, with facilities that can compete. Vanderbilt, with a lot of what a prospect like that would want, in the best track and field conference. Do you see where this could lead?

“I do,” Corbin said.


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