Last year, Vanderbilt snagged a Mountain West quarterback who had made waves as a freshman. In 2012, James Franklin might do it again.
Colorado State sophomore quarterback Pete Thomas - a former four-star recruit who set the MWC's freshman passing yardage record in 2010 - is rumored to be leaving Fort Collins. His potential destination? Nashville.
A Colorado Examiner report suggested that the pocket passer could be headed to Vanderbilt to play out his collegiate career - though a conflicting report denies that Thomas has made up his mind. Thomas officially left the university on Tuesday, the first day of CSU's second semester.
This would echo a similar situation in 2011, when Wyoming's Austyn Carta-Samuels left the MWC to play for James Franklin. Carta-Samuels, the 2009 Mountain West Freshman of the Year, had reportedly decided on Vanderbilt in the spring of 2011. However, neither the team nor the player could confirm anything until training camp started later that fall.
Carta-Samuels redshirted last season to fulfill his transfer requirements with the NCAA. He's expected to push Jordan Rodgers for the starting spot at quarterback, and will also have to fend off Josh Grady, Kris Kentera, and incoming freshman Patton Robinette for reps at the position.
Thomas's arrival would be a boost to the Commodores' depth, but also crowd the lineup at quarterback even more than it already is. Currently, the team has seven players for the 2012 season listed at QB. The 'Dores recently converted touted freshman LaFonte Thorogood to running back in order to give him a better chance at playing time. However, if Thomas were to transfer, he would be eligible in time to replace a graduating Rodgers and make a strong case to start for Vanderbilt.
Pete Thomas would be a solid addition for the Commodores. He's got a big arm and the size to take advantage of weapons like Jordan Matthews and Chris Boyd in Vanderbilt's vertical passing attack. However, his path towards playing time in Nashville will have several roadblocks as James Franklin continues to add to a growing stable of talented athletes and skill players.