Commodores mining the state of Alabama

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Vanderbilt has done a nice job the last few years of recruiting in the state of Alabama, and the point man has been Charlie Fisher, the Commodores' receivers coach and passing game co-coordinator.

Fisher has carved out a niche of going into that talent-laden state and landing players that Alabama and Auburn weren't really recruiting and having them come to Nashville and carve out successful careers.

Receiver Earl Bennett, who set an SEC record with 236 career catches before leaving school early and going in the third round of the 2008 NFL draft, went to West End High School in Birmingham and was a first-team 5A all-state player.

Quarterback Chris Nickson, who was a very respectable 13-14 as the Commodores' starter, starred at Pike County High School in Brundidge, Ala., where he was named the state's Mr. Football in 2003.

Quarterback Larry Smith, a redshirt freshman last season for the Commodores, was also named the state of Alabama's Mr. Football in 2006 while leading his Prattville, Ala., team to a 6A state title. Smith threw the ball well during stretches of the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl win over Boston College and will battle Mackenzi Adams for the starting job next season.

There could be another one to add to that list from the state of Alabama.

Running back Zac Stacy of Centerville, Ala., has flown under the recruiting radar, but was extremely productive at Bibb County High School. The 5-foot-9, 185-pound Stacy rushed for more than 2,400 yards last season and 36 touchdowns and runs a lot bigger than his size. He's been committed to the Commodores since last July, which is probably one reason he hasn't received a lot of pub this recruiting period.

But given the Commodores' recent track record with players from the state of Alabama, look for Stacy to be plenty productive.