Last offseason, Vanderbilt hit up the Ivy League for a couple of graduate transfers in Penn defensive lineman Louis Vecchio and Columbia punter Parker Thome. Both worked out pretty well last season, with Thome providing a boost to special teams and Vecchio performing admirably in the defensive line rotation. Now Vanderbilt is headed back to that well.
Per VandySports.com, Harvard WR Justice Shelton-Mosley will join the Commodores ($) in the fall as a graduate transfer. In 2017, Shelton-Mosley was a first team FCS All-American, leading Harvard in receiving with 36 catches for 465 yards, but his real impact was in the return game: for his career, he averaged 14.4 yards per punt return with three touchdowns. (Somehow, he didn’t have a single receiving touchdown in 2017.)
Shelton-Mosley’s 2018 season was cut short after four games, though. That gives him a redshirt year under NCAA rules, but not Ivy League rules — which don’t allow graduate students to compete in athletics. So he’ll come to Vanderbilt, where he’ll provide another weapon for an offense that already returns Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Kalija Lipscomb, Jared Pinkney, C.J. Bolar, Amir Abdur-Rahman, and Cam Johnson.
Women’s basketball travels to South Carolina tonight. That game will be televised on the SEC Network at 6:00 PM CT.
We’d thought for a while that former offensive lineman Ean Pfeifer had moved on from football; he wasn’t on the roster last season after an injury-plagued 2017. Yesterday, though, we learned that he’s going to Louisville as a graduate transfer — where he’ll play tight end.
Off the West End
Not necessarily related to sports — but here’s an op-ed from the Washington Post about what happened to local newspapers, written by the President of Nashville Public Media. Gannett has pretty much destroyed news in the state of Tennessee, and the only reason the Tennessean has quality coverage of Vanderbilt sports is because of the tireless efforts of Adam Sparks and Joe Rexrode, and really nothing on the corporate side.
I have a few thoughts on this. While larger news entities will pick up some of the slack when local news declines, the problem with this model can be seen when you take a look at The Athletic. That medium devotes precious little coverage to Vanderbilt, never mind smaller programs like Belmont and Lipscomb. But it’s even worse on the news side, where you can now find seven articles analyzing a Trump tweet and scant coverage of state houses and city halls across the country. And as someone who’s spent far more time in county courthouses than most of you, well, there’s a lot of stuff going on in those places that the public should probably know about, but doesn’t, because local dailies no longer have the staff to devote ink to such things and larger, national outlets don’t care about small potatoes stories.
The flipside to that, of course, is that local daily subscribers are voting with their feet because of things like the Tennessean shifting printing to Knoxville and now implementing a new deadline of 6 PM to make the next day’s newspaper. That means that most Vanderbilt games won’t have a recap in the next morning’s Tennessean any more.
Seems like a great way to stay in business, doesn’t it?