It’s been over a week since National Signing Day, and I’ve finally gotten around to updating the Vanderbilt football scholarship chart.
|QB||Wade Freebeck||Kyle Shurmur, Shawn Stankavage*||Deuce Wallace*, Jacob Free||5|
|RB||Ralph Webb*, Dallas Rivers||Josh Crawford, Khari Blasingame*||Jaire George*, Ke'Shawn Vaughn**||Jamauri Wakefield*||7|
|FB||Bailey McElwain, Kyle Anderton*||2|
|WR||Caleb Scott, Trent Sherfield, C.J. Duncan*||Donaven Tennyson, Kalija Lipscomb||Jackson Winrow*, James Bostic Jr., Chris Pierce||8|
|TE||Nathan Marcus*||Sam Dobbs||Jared Pinkney*||Turner Cockrell*||4|
|OL||Delando Crooks*, Egidio DellaRipa||Cole Hardin*, Bruno Reagan*, Justin Skule, Bailey Granier*||Ean Pfeifer*, Jared Southers*||Devin Cochran*, Braden Kopp*, Sean Auwae-McMoore*, Bryce Bailey, Cole Clemens, Grant Miller, Jonathan Stewart||15|
|DL||Jonathan Wynn*, Jay Woods*, Nifae Lealao||Dare Odeyingbo, Riley Tindol*||Darion DeBrossard*||Cameron Tidd*, Drew Birchmaier*, Josiah Sa'o*, Dayo Odeyingbo, Jalen Pinkney, Stone Edwards, Jonah Buchanan||13|
|LB||Landon Stokes*, Oren Burks*||Jordan Griffin, Josh Smith, Charles Wright*||Jay Hockaday*, Caleb Peart*||Andre Mintze*, Kenny Hebert*, Colin Anderson, Dimitri Moore, Feleti Afemui, Brayden DeVault-Smith, Michael Owusu||14|
|DB||Taurean Ferguson*, LaDarius Wiley, Tre Herndon, Arnold Tarpley, Emmanuel Smith, Ryan White*, Jalen Banks*||Andrew Rector, Donovan Sheffield, Bryce Lewis*||Joejuan Williams||Zaire Jones*, Frank Coppet*, Austin Quillen*, Elijah Hamilton*, Tae Daley, Randall Haynie, Allan George||18|
|*Player has used a redshirt year.|
|**Vaughn will sit out 2017 as a transfer and be eligible in 2018.|
So, well, what can we glean from the scholarship chart? First of all, we’ve got 89 players on scholarship! And that’s with players we already know won’t be returning — Zach Cunningham, Nigel Bowden, and DeAndre Woods — removed from the scholarship chart, so there are more players who won’t be back. My guess is that these players have already told the coaching staff that they won’t be returning next year, but haven’t gone public with this. We may not know who’s gone until the spring roster is released, but we can speculate for now. In the past, we’ve tended to lose guys who would be fifth-year seniors who are buried on the depth chart — a lot of them decide to just graduate and move on with their lives. And this is just speculation, but with five quarterbacks on the roster and with a rising junior having grabbed the starting job by the horns, I wouldn’t be all that surprised if we lost a player or two there.
You can also start to figure out what the 2018 recruiting class will look like. First of all, with 22 seniors (at present) on the roster, it’s going to be a full class, or something close to it. What about positions that are going to be thin?
Well, wide receiver is obvious with 8 scholarship players currently on roster and 3 of them being seniors. There are also seven seniors at defensive back, so that’s going to be a position of need -- although there you also have 11 underclassmen on the roster, including eight guys in their first or second year in the program. Vanderbilt will almost certainly sign a kicker with Tommy Openshaw graduating. But with so many scholarships available, Vanderbilt will probably be targeting guys at pretty much every position.