Either I’d never heard this story before or completely forgotten it, but when Matt Dayes was a high school prospect, he nearly ended up at Vanderbilt instead of NC State. Fortunately for State, Vandy’s coaches were all out of pocket when he tried to call them to commit, as the N&O’s Joe Giglio details here.
That ended up being a pretty big break for Dave Doeren, who at that point had only been on the job for a matter of weeks. Who knows how Dayes’ absence would have affected the program in general, but I’m sure we would have had a bit less fun over the years.
So thanks for that, Vanderbilt and now-former head coach James Franklin, you guys gave us a gift that’s been giving ever since then. It worked out well for Dayes, too, as he escaped the two-season post-Franklin purgatory in Nashville and walked right into a new, run-oriented offense.
(Quick side note here for the kids: According to Giglio, Dayes decided to commit to whichever team won the Music City Bowl, and it is not generally a good idea to make life-changing decisions on flimsy criteria like this.)