The Vanderbilt Commodores’ 2016 football season ended with a loss to NC State in the Independence Bowl on Monday, and now some Commodores are making decisions about their future. Vanderbilt got some good news with Ralph Webb electing to return for his senior year, but since the bowl game a couple of Commodores have announced that they won’t be returning.
This season has been a blessing and having the opportunity to be apart of that blessing is amazing and I will cherish that brother hood!! pic.twitter.com/DITVxmpzH8— DeAndre Woods (@FlyboyWoods) December 27, 2016
I love this university, program, my coaches, my teammates & fans more than words can express! It's been a great ride! Thank u #VandyNation— Andrew Jelks (@El_Jefe_50) December 27, 2016
Neither decision is a huge surprise. DeAndre Woods had played in a total of four games over the last two seasons due to injuries, but the emergence of underclassmen Jared Pinkney and Sam Dobbs at tight end meant that Woods might not have figured into Vanderbilt’s plans for 2017 even if he were healthy. Since he’s on track to graduate from Vanderbilt in May, he can move on to another university for his final year and he’ll be eligible to play immediately.
Jelks, a fifth-year senior, missed the last two seasons due to injuries and while he’d have been eligible for a medical hardship waiver to get a sixth year, his tweet above suggests that he won’t be applying for it.
To update this post from a few weeks ago, Adam Sparks decommitted (and later committed to Missouri), while Vanderbilt added two new commitments in Cole Clemens and Jonathan Stewart. That put Vanderbilt right at the 85-man limit for the upcoming season, but Woods and Jelks moving on frees up two scholarships. Vanderbilt may see more players leave between now and signing day.
We wish DeAndre and Andrew the best in their future endeavors.