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AOG Commenter De Facto Mailbag: Will They Stay Or Will They Go?

Confusing enough title for you?

Vanderbilt v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Commenter ArtlessWobbler (nee MuzzleOfBees) posted the following:

Next year

is going to be interesting to watch unfold. Maybe not good interesting but…a lot of variables right now: QB is obviously a big ? but I feel really good about that WR corps moving forward. Not a thing I’ve been able to say very often around here.

In fact, looking at the roster, it’s possible that quality depth I’ve heard so much about could mean far less of a regression than I thought. Especially if Vaughn/Pinkney/Williams stay. Speaking of, anybody care to speculate on those odds?

Seeing as I have some time during office hours right now, I thought I’d take a stab at it.

Ke’Shawn Vaughn - 50% stay. This one is honestly a coin flip, as Mason and Ludwig will make him the centerpiece of their “re-recruitment” efforts. He has to know he will be the feature back, and will likely be the focal point of the offense. He will wait to see his NFL draft grade from scouts this spring. If they give him a top 3 round grade, he will go. They might. They might tell him to show what he can do as the feature back in ‘19 to improve his stock. They certainly will tell him to improve upon his pass blocking (*call back to Tom claiming at the beginning of the season that Vaughn had not earned more carries due to poor pass blocking, and my repeated mocking of Tom for this POV). Vaughn boasts a 1,000 yard season, 7.0 YPC, and 10 TDs... all while languishing on the bench for a good chunk of the season, and then missing time due to injuries and Chugger headhunting. Vaughn has an “eye of the beholder” thing going. Some will see an injury prone smaller RB who struggled to get carries early, and others will see, well... Alvin Kamara. I tend towards the latter view, but NFL scouts might need to see more. Again, it’s 50/50.

Jared Pinkney - 85% leave. I’m not sure Pinkney has anything left to prove, and he has a lot to lose by staying. He was 2nd on the team in receiving (to Kalija “Bisons” Lipscomb), with 45 catches for 698 yards and 7 TDs. He is a sure-handed, seam-destroying pass-catching tight end. The NFL seems to like those. I’d bet he gets a top 3 round grade and bolts. There is just too much uncertainty with returning, as he will have to develop a relationship with a new QB--one who may not be as proficient at exploiting the TE as Shurms McKenzie has been. Lipscomb is coming back, but I would guess Pinkney is playing on Sundays next year.

Joejuan Williams - 95% leave. Unless he has a fervent zeal for getting his degree on time, he’s gone. He should be a top 2 round DB, and the league craves DBs who can do what Joejuan can do. He was first on the team in INTs (4) and PBUs (10), and that was with teams trying to avoid throwing it his way. Unless Mason is more loquacious and persuasive than we think, he’s gone.

Josh Henderson - 100% returning for his 9th year of basketball eligibility.