NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Vanderbilt Commodores have been doing their best to give all six quarterbacks a chance to make a good impression in the opening days of camp.
The competition now is tightening up.
The Commodores had their first practice in pads Monday, and Josh Grady moved from quarterback to wide receiver. Offensive coordinator Karl Dorrell plans to pare down the numbers even further to get more work for the quarterbacks separating from the pack. With the opener against Temple on Aug. 28, it's time for the quarterbacks who could start to get more work.
"I haven't been a part of a situation where you had that many that's vying for an opportunity to compete for a job, and that's just the nature because we're first year in this program and we haven't really come back with a returning starter," Dorrell said.
Patton Robinette is the only quarterback returning with any starting experience at Vanderbilt. He started in a loss at Texas A&M, Vandy's first win in Gainesville against Florida since 1945 and the bowl win as the Commodores went 9-4 and finished 24th in The Associated Press' Top 25. He also helped beat Georgia and Tennessee but wasn't asked to throw much. He was 46 of 88 for 642 yards and has one more interception (five) than touchdowns (four) passing.
"Last year I don't know if I was really asked to throw the ball that much," Robinette said. "The running joke has been I was more of a glorified running back than anything. Having the ability to throw, I know I can do that and to show that off this year will be good."
There's also Stephen Rivers, whose older brother Philip is quarterback for the NFL's San Diego Chargers. Freshman Wade Freebeck has flashed early with redshirt freshman Johnny McCrary and freshman Shawn Stankavage splitting snaps equally the first four days.
Rivers has size at 6-foot-7 and 235 pounds along with his impressive brother.
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