The Vanderbilt Commodores’ defensive line was a trouble spot in 2017, but the Commodores hoped that former four-star local product Rutger Reitmaier would be able to help shore up that unit in 2018. Wednesday morning, the NCAA declared that yes, he would be eligible to play in 2018.
The reason why Reitmaier needed a waiver was a bit complicated, but here goes. Reitmaier, a four-star recruit from Lipscomb Academy in Nashville, enrolled early at Oregon in January 2017, went through spring practice, and then decided during the summer that he wanted to transfer — prior to the start of the 2017 season or ever playing a snap for the Ducks.
Where things get weird is what happened after he left Oregon. For whatever reason, Reitmaier couldn’t get his transcript from Oregon approved before the deadline to start fall classes at Vanderbilt, so he enrolled at Lipscomb — which doesn’t field a football team — for the fall semester before transferring to Vanderbilt for the spring semester. NCAA rules require that a player spend a full year at a new school before being eligible, so Reitmaier had to apply for a waiver to play at Vanderbilt in 2018. (The oddity in this rule is that if Reitmaier had just enrolled at Vol State or another two-year college for the fall semester, this wouldn’t even be an issue.) He’d also have essentially lost a year of eligibility, with 2017 being a redshirt year, leaving him with only three years to play.
In any case, this is all past us, and now Vanderbilt’s defensive line adds a former four-star recruit to the mix for 2018.