A couple of weeks ago, after Vandy signed 21 incoming freshmen, we noted that the Commodores are five scholarships over the limit. We also predicted that these five players would be leaving to make room for them:
• Jamie Graham, R-SR, WR/DB
• Austin Monahan, R-SR, TE
• Justin Cabbagestalk, R-SO, OL
• Charlie Goro, R-SO, QB
• Brady Brown, R-SO, WR
We also said we were looking forward to seeing the updated roster and getting some clues. Well, the roster contained no changes (except for the absence of walk-on QB Matt Casas) but the profiles did have some clues, as we mentioned yesterday.
1. Cabbagestalk has had a career-ending knee surgery.
2. Graham is listed but his profile hasn’t been updated since last season. He has been rumored to be graduating.
3. James Kittredge, who played last season as a true freshman offensive lineman, also lacks an updated profile. Don’t want to speculate, but that could be an indication that his return is in jeopardy.
That leaves us with two scholarships over the limit of 85. Who else might be gone? Here are the guys we recently mentioned:
• Monahan: Listed as being questionable for spring practice. He’s had his expenses paid at Vanderbilt for four years. While big and talented, if he’s not making progress toward a 100 percent recovery, he’ll likely be done.
• Goro: With junior Aaron Rodgers likely still recovering from shoulder surgery in the spring, Goro and returning Larry Smith will get all the reps. Goro’s profile mentions that he’s a good athlete but lacks arm strength and accuracy. Not exactly a ringing endorsement. Don’t be surprised if the preseason depth chart lists Smith first, Rodgers second and true freshmen Lafonte Thorougood and/or Josh Grady third. That would mean Goro could be moving to wide receiver… or to a lower-level school if he wants to play quarterback.
• Brady Brown: His new profile says he didn’t play last season – he’d already redshirted with injury the year before after limited play – because he’s been building his strength. Again, not exactly a ringing endorsement.
Coach Franklin wants to carry the full contingent of scholarships while still having plenty of room for next year’s signing class. So what does he plan to do if he weeds out too many guys during spring practice? Well, notice that Graham, who’s been considered as good as gone, and Ryan van Rensburg, who was honored on senior day and is not even counted in our scholarship tally, are still on the roster. I’ll bet both those guys have applied to graduate school and if some players leave after the spring because of injury, academics or the desire for more playing time, then Graham and/or van Rensburg can hop into their slots. Linebacker Chris Johnson did that a couple of years ago.