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Backup QB Jacob Free transferring to Northwest Mississippi CC

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Free, the highest-rated recruit in Vanderbilt’s 2017 class, redshirted this season.

NCAA Football: Missouri at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that didn’t take long.

Vanderbilt freshman QB Jacob Free, who redshirted during the 2017 season, announced on Wednesday that he’s leaving the program to transfer to Northwest Mississippi CC, where he’ll be eligible to play next season (and, presumably, transfer back to another four-year school in 2019.)

If you’re a pessimist, and most of you are, it’s not a great look to be losing the highest-rated recruit in the 2017 class after just one season in which he didn’t take a snap. In truth, though, this was probably a numbers game. Kyle Shurmur is graduating after 2018, but even after that, Deuce Wallace’s performance in limited playing time in 2017 suggests that he’s a viable option after Shurmur graduates, and star recruit Allan Walters enters the program next season. At least on paper, Free was probably going to be the third quarterback in that group.

It kind of sucks to lose depth at a position where you absolutely need depth, but if you held a gun to my head and forced me to pick one of the three heirs apparent to Shurmur to leave the program (or not enter it, in Walters’ case), this was probably the guy.

We wish Free the best at NWCC, and Anchor Down.