The Colorado State Rams don’t have a head coach yet, but they’ve already landed a big commitment.
Tight end Mitchell Parsons was one of the crown jewels in the Vanderbilt Commodores’ 2013 recruiting class. The former four-star recruit was considered the nation’s seventh-best tight end prospect, according to Rivals.com.
After a redshirt season and no playing time this year, the native of Parker, Colorado, decided he wanted to play closer to home.
Parsons’ transfer shouldn’t come as a surprise. He originally committed to head coach James Franklin, who left to take the job at Penn State less than a year later. Vanderbilt’s offense will again transition this offseason after new head coach Derek Mason fired offensive coordinator Karl Dorrell.
The tight end might not know who he’ll be playing for at Colorado State, but at least his family will only be an hour or so down the road.
Parsons will have to sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules. Once he is eligible to play, he’ll have an opportunity to replace Steven Walker, who will be a senior in 2015, as the team’s starting tight end.
(Photo courtesy of Vanderbilt athletic department)
Four quarterbacks have played for the Vanderbilt Commodores this season. Sophomore Patton Robinette has proven to be the most effective during the limited time he’s been at the helm of the offense.
However, Robinette is recovering from a concussion and won’t start Saturday against the Missouri Tigers despite being cleared to play.
Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason already made 10 changes at the quarterback position through seven games. Freshman Wade Freebeck started last weekend against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers. Freedbeck was 5-of-7 passing for 20 yards before suffering a finger injury during the Commodores’ narrow 21-20 over the FCS program.
Freshman Johnny McCrary took over for Freebeck and played relatively well. The two then competed during practice this week to be the team’s starter. McCrary eventually won the opportunity to start this Saturday.
“When I step on the field, I can only do my best,” McCrary told The Tennessean‘s Adam Sparks Wednesday. “If my best isn’t good enough, I’ll take myself out of the game. You can tell if you’re not moving this team, but I want to stay tough and maybe something special will happen.”
If McCary doesn’t play at his best, he won’t have to pull himself. Mason has proven he’s more than willing to make changes at the position. Now that Robinette is healthy, McCrary could very well be on a short leash.
Derek Mason has made his first major decision as the new head coach of the Vanderbilt Commodores.
The team’s quarterback competition is over. Mason was able to differentiate between redshirt freshman Johnny McCrary, senior Stephen Rivers and sophomore Patton Robinette with nine days remaining before the start of the season.
The result of the competition was announced on twitter:
Robinette played in nine games last year with one start. He threw for 642 yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions. He also added 214 rushing yards.
“I’m excited for Patton as we prepare this team for the season opener next Thursday,” Mason said in a statement. “Patton has really made strides and consistently improved from the spring to now. I believe he has worked to earn this opportunity.”
The wording within the tweet from the team is interesting. Robinette was named the starter for the team’s opener against the Temple Owls. It doesn’t necessarily mean Robinette will be the team’s starting quarterback for the entire season. If Robinette struggles during the first few weeks of play, Mason may insert either Rivers or McCrary into the starting lineup.
“We have three solid guys at the position now, along with the talented freshmen” Mason said. “Johnny and Stephen are very capable quarterbacks and both worked hard to make a strong case for the starting role. They made this a difficult decision.”
With Vanderbilt officially naming its starting quarterback for opening weekend, we’re still waiting on a decision from two more SEC teams.
You’re up Alabama and LSU.
(Hat Tip: Washington Post)