Caleb Azubike surprised a lot of people on National Signing Day when he spurned some big time college football programs signing with Vanderbilt in 2012. The Nashville native felt at home just down the street on West End with James Franklin and became a fixture of the Commodore defense the next four seasons.
Azubike set a record for most minutes played by a true freshman at Vandy. In his first year he recorded 4 1/2 sacks in Nashville and was a big reason the Dores defeated Tennessee his first two years at Vanderbilt.
When Franklin left to go to Penn State Azubike switched from linebacker to defensive end when new coach Derek Mason brought the 3-4 to Vandy. Injuries have prevented him from playing in every game the last three years but he was named to the All-SEC Preseason team coming into his senior year.
Unfortunately a broken jaw kept him out of three games after he sustained the injury against South Carolina in October. The Nigerian defensive end finished the season strong and had two sacks in a win over Kentucky in November.
If Azubike can put it together and stay healthy he could be a steal in the 2016 NFL Draft. Currently he is projected to be a late round selection or undrafted free agent. Azubike will have Vanderbilt’s Pro Day and private workouts to improve his draft stock. At 6’4 270 pounds he has the build the NFL looks for in a linebacker. If he can land on an NFL team I would imagine he could stick around and play on special teams until he gets a look at linebacker.
A team like the Titans might take a shot on the Commodore linebacker as an undrafted free agent should he not get picked in the draft. Tennessee has signed several former Vanderbilt players over the years since the school is literally down the street from the team.