Last week, Richard Cagle and Rob Ashabranner vanished from the Vanderbilt depth chart, likely gone forever from the football team.
Nobody noticed, and nobody cared, because since those guys arrived on campus, the Commodores have added about a dozen offensive linemen with more talent.
At the end of last season, Gaston Miller, Austin Newton and Justin Green were honored on senior day, though each had a full year of eligibility remaining. Nobody noticed or cared.
So who could drop off the Vanderbilt depth chart today with little repercussions? Here's a list:
• Ryan van Rensburg, R-JR, H-back: Came to Vandy as a three-star fullback but the Commodores don't really use fullbacks. A big, strong guy who lacks the mobility to compete for playing time at tailback. Was a nice fill-in last season at tight end after second-teamer Austin Monahan was injured, but Monahan and Brandon Barden are back, and redshirt freshman Mason Johnston is the tight end of the future.
• Turner Wimberly, R-SR, WR: The fact that Wimberly started last season was a sad commentary on the Commodore receiving corps. He's listed second-team on the depth chart because he's a senior, but expect him to fall fast once the hotshot freshmen start practicing.
• Tray Herndon, R-JR, WR: Played well as a freshman at Minnesota, but was a disappointment last season, losing playing time to Collin Ashley, a true freshman who wasn't offered a scholarship until well after signing day. He'll get one more look, and he'd better be ready.
• Akeem Dunham, R-SO, WR: A former basketball star with loads of athleticism, Dunham was never a factor last season. He's got two years to get something going, but if he beats out half of the true freshmen it will be a surprise.
• Jared Funk, R-SR, QB: A three-star quarterback who supposedly has the best arm on the team, except after five years he still hasn't thrown a pass in a game. Last season he was on the punt coverage team until Larry Smith was injured. Coach Caldwell isn't planning to redshirt anybody who can help, which probably means he'll scrap Bobby Johnson's plans to redshirt quarterback Jordan Rodgers.
• Al Owens, R-SO, S: A nice recruit who played a bunch of special teams last season but didn't get much playing time in a secondary that featured three true freshmen. With a redshirt freshman and three true freshmen who all look like better prospects at safety, he'd better get used to special teams.
• Micah Powell, R-SO, S: Like Owen, a safety who played a bunch of special teams but faces a serious challenge from all those freshmen safeties. He's been getting a look at linebacker, where he must crack a depth chart loaded with fellow redshirt sophomores.
• Johnell Thomas, R-SO, DE: A non-traditional end (he's only 6-foot-1), Thomas got some meaningful playing time last season and looks like a solid player but faces serious competition from redshirt freshmen Walker May and Thad McHaney and true freshmen Kyle Woestmann and Thomas Ryan.
• Josh Jelesky, R-SO, DE: Another redshirt sophomore who looks promising but will likely get lost in the sea of young talent at end. May be one of those kids who converts to tackle if he can put on some more weight.
• Colt Nichter, R-SO, DT: Played sparingly last season and has a chance to get some key snaps this year with the departure of Billinger and the injury to Smotherman. But true freshmen Vince Taylor and Jared Morse, and maybe even James Kittredge, should make a splash early.
• Taylor Loftley, R-SO, DT: Sat on the bench last season, and though he's got tons of potential, his chances to play may not improve with the arrival of the three freshmen.