Seals, a true freshman from Weatherford, Texas, was competing with freshman Mike Wright and junior college transfers Danny Clark and Jeremy Moussa for the starting role. The coaching staff announced the decision internally after the Commodores’ last intrasquad scrimmage, multiple sources confirmed.
As soon as every single quarterback who took a snap for Vanderbilt in 2019 had left the program in one form or another, my prediction was that Ken Seals would be the team’s starter — or at least see the majority of the snaps — in 2020, and the only thing that would have caused me to waver from that prediction would have been the possibility that Vanderbilt’s coaching staff would try to squeeze a redshirt year out of the situation by limiting his playing time. But that became academic once the NCAA ruled that everybody would get a free year of eligibility for the 2020 season. Seals was pretty clearly the Commodores’ most impressive prospect on film, at least as a passer, and reports out of the shortened spring practice suggested that he was also more than ready to be Vanderbilt’s starting quarterback out of the gate.
And now, it’s somewhat official. Assuming this holds, per the Hustler, Seals will be the first true freshman to start a game since Kyle Shurmur in 2015, and quite possibly the first true freshman ever to start the season opener at Vanderbilt. Also per the Hustler’s article, just two true freshmen have started the season opener for an SEC team since freshman eligibility was reinstated in 1972: Brent Schaeffer at Tennessee in 2004, and Bo Nix for Auburn last year.