Clark Lea’s 2023 recruiting class is growing, and so is the size of his future offensive and defensive line.
Vanderbilt tallied commitments from two players on Monday, adding 6-foot-4, 325-pound defensive tackle De’Marion Thomas and 6-foot-5, 325-pound offensive lineman Cooper Starks, both of whom took official visits to campus over the weekend.
A three-star player and the No. 9-ranked prospect in Oklahoma, according to 247Sports composite rankings, Thomas chose the Commodores over offers from Arkansas, Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Memphis, Texas Tech and Tulsa.
Starks, who is the first offensive line commit in the class, doesn’t have an official star rating from On3, ESPN or Rivals, but he is designated as a three-star prospect by 247Sports, which ranks him as the No. 49 player in Illinois.
The rising senior also had offers from Army, Ball State, Central Michigan, Miami (Ohio), Navy, Ohio, South Dakota and Toledo.
"This is what I don't look at: I don't look at records," Starks told 247Sports. "I don't care if you didn't win a single game, didn't make a bowl game. My main things are if the coaches make me feel like I'm actually needed there, if they're all good guys and good people, they're good to my family and they offer what I study. … Vanderbilt is checking all of those boxes so far."
Thomas is now Vanderbilt’s highest-rated recruit in the 2023 class, which currently ranks 43rd nationally. Other VU commits include fellow three-stars Sedrick Alexander (RB), Kevis Thomas (CB), Kelvon McBride (LB), Duran Parish (WR) and Mt. Juliet’s Ethan Crisp (LB).
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