Needing to replace Kyle Shurmur as its starting quarterback, Vanderbilt has added an experienced name to its 2019 signal-calling puzzle.
In an interview with 247Sports.com, Riley Neal confirmed that he will be transferring to Vanderbilt. Earlier this year, the quarterback announced that he had decided to transfer from Ball State.
As a graduate transfer, Neal will be eligible to play immediately for the Commodores in 2019. Next season will be his final year of eligibility.
“They obviously were in the market for a quarterback, I was looking for a school that needed a quarterback,” Neal said according to the recruiting website. “I went there and visited with their staff and saw everything and it was a good fit.
“They have a lot of guys returning. Their team has some good players that have a year left. Their quarterback situation, you’re not going to go anywhere where they’re going to tell you it’s a lock but they don’t have a ton of guys on their roster and they’re graduating their starter.”
In addition to Vandy, Louisville was also a consideration for Neal.
Neal started the last nine games of his true freshman season in 2015, then started 11 games the following year. He started the first three games of 2017 before going down with a season-ending injury. After starting the first nine games of this past season, his year was prematurely ended by another injury.
During his time with the MAC Cardinals, Neal through for 7,393 yards and 46 touchdowns. He also tossed 25 interceptions in 1,219 career attempts.
At Vandy, his primary competition for the starting job will be redshirt sophomore Deuce Wallace and true freshman Allan Walters. Wallace was suspended for the entire 2018 season after attempting 22 passes as Shurmur’s primary backup in 2017, while Wallace didn’t see any on-field action his first year in Nashville.