Vanderbilt football released its spring roster Monday, and 16 eligible players from 2016 are no longer with the program. The biggest surprise on the new depth chart? Occasional starting quarterback Wade Freebeck won’t be a Commodore in 2017.
The rising senior appeared in nine games in his college career, but never lived up to the potential that made head coach Derek Mason burn his redshirt halfway through a lost season to become the team’s starting quartberack.
“Wade is looking at options right now,” he told the media after the team’s first practice of the year. “We would like to do whatever we can to make sure Wade is successful.”
Losing Freebeck cements Kyle Shurmur’s ascension to the team’s starting role. Shurmur earned the top spot last summer during a close quarterback battle, but still inexplicably ceded snaps to the more experienced passer early in the season. Rising junior Shawn Stankavage, redshirt freshman Deuce Wallace, and incoming freshman Jacob Free will all vie for the team’s backup role in 2017.
Freebeck isn’t the only contributor to leave the team before spring practices got underway. Tight ends DeAndre Woods and Kyle Anderton, offensive lineman Delando Crooks, and linebacker Landon Stokes are among the more familiar names that won’t return to Dudley Field this fall. Though Woods and Anderton are primed to continue their gridiron careers elsewhere (Woods has announced he will play for Old Dominion next season), Crooks and Stokes may have wrapped up their playing days and are set to graduate in May.
That group, along with the departures of linebackers Zach Cunningham (draft) and Nigel Bowden (injuries), open up a cache of scholarships for incoming freshmen and potential transfer targets.
Here’s the full list of eligible players who won’t return to the Vanderbilt roster in 2017.
Zach Aguirre, SO, walk-on OL
Kyle Anderton, JR, TE
Jalen Banks, RS SR, S
Nigel Bowden, RS SR, LB
Delando Crooks, RS SR, OL
Zach Cunningham, SR, LB
Chandler Dorrell, RS SR, WR
Wade Freebeck, SR, QB
Winston Guillory, JR, walk-on WR
Hayden Kovacs, SR, walk-on K
Zack Smith, SO, walk-on WR
Landon Stokes, RS SR, LB
Riley Tindol, RS JR, DE
Reese Wilson, JR, walk-on WR
Davis Winkie, RS JR, LS
DeAndre Woods, RS SR, TE