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Vanderbilt OC Andy Ludwig said that he expects junior QB Kyle Shurmur to be "a much more developed player" in 2017.

Shurmur's statistical output for the 2016 campaign left much to be desired, as the 6-foot-4, 226-pounder finished out the season having thrown for 2,409 yards (54.4% completions) with an uninspiring 9/10 TD/INT ratio. He showed signs of revving matters up late, throwing five touchdowns in five November/December games, but he also tossed seven picks in that space. Shurmur admitted that he had issues with timing on his deep balls. We already like what HC Derek Mason has done on the defensive side of the ball. If they can get a step forward from Shurmur next season, eight wins is not out of the realm of possibility.
Source: ESPN.com
Mar 14 - 7:42 PM

An anonymous NFL scout told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Vanderbilt LB Zach Cunningham is "either a long-levered ‘sam’ backer on the line, kind of that Scott Fujita role, or he’s an inside guy."

"Solid, productive football player," he said. "I don’t see the dynamic play. I guess K.J. Wright was a lot like that coming out (Mississippi State, 2011). If it’s third and 8 and you’ve got to get off the field, (Cunningham) is not the guy to make that play consistently." Cunningham led the SEC in tackles last year. "He’s pretty (expletive) good but it’s not even close to (Reuben) Foster," another scout said. "He’s a modern-day linebacker. He goes sideline to sideline. ... Tough, very athletic."
Mar 14 - 3:40 PM

Ohio State redshirt sophomore WR Alex Stump transferred to Vanderbilt.

A former four-star recruit, Stump took a redshirt during the 2015 campaign, then came on this past season to log one catch for eight yards. The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder will have to sit out the 2017 campaign to satisfy NCAA transfer regulations. He will have three years of eligibility once eligible to play for the Commodores come the 2018 season.
Mar 7 - 4:38 PM

Optimum Scouting's Eric Galko wrote that Vanderbilt LB Zach Cunningham "looked like [one of the two] best in linebacker drills."

LSU LB Duke Riley was the other linebacker Galko singled out in addition to Cunningham. The 6-foot-3, 234-pound Cunningham has posted strong testing this weekend, including standout positional marks in the vertical jump (35 inches) and broad jump (125 inches). Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline ranks him second only to Alabama's Reuben Foster among inside linebacking prospects in the 2017 pool.
Mar 5 - 3:50 PM

Vanderbilt hired Wake Forest director of high school relations Warren Belin to serve as outside linebackers coach.

Belin takes over for Osia Lewis, who is currently fighting liver cancer and has been shifted to an off-field role. Belin had been with Wake Forest the past three seasons prior to taking this new gig. This won't be his first rodeo with Vanderbilt. He previously acted as linebackers coach with the Commodores from 2002-2009.
Feb 28 - 2:12 PM

Per ESPN, Vanderbilt's coaching staff "thinks it found a real sleeper" in two-star freshman linebacker Brayden DeVault-Smith.

DeVault-Smith was actually unranked by ESPN's recruiting service. The Commodores staff thinks national outlets missed the boat on the 6-foot-3, 208-pound DeVault-Smith. "He's long and rangy, and was exceptional during his senior year, even if it didn't register on a broader scale with people," wrote Edward Aschoff. "He was a very productive player throughout his high school career, but some around the Vandy program think he was lost in the shuffle because he wasn't an active camper before his senior season, hiding some of his skill from the masses."
Source: ESPN
Feb 20 - 4:11 PM

Michigan graduate long-snapper Scott Sypniewski transferred to Vanderbilt.

Sypniewski has acted as Michigan's head long-snapper each of the past two seasons. If you'll journey back with us to the 2015 season, Sypniewski was the young gentleman who snapped the ball to P Blake O'Neil against Michigan State. O'Neil failed to get the punt off and it was returned for a touchdown in one of the more dramatic endings from the last few seasons. In total, Sypniewski appeared in 36 games from 2014-2016.
Feb 17 - 4:52 PM

Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline believes Vanderbilt T William Holden could be an NFL starter "after spending a year or two in an NFL weight training program."

The analyst says Holden is a "terrific pass protector who gets the most from his size and skill." The 6-foot-7, 312-pounder started all 13 games last year as Kyle Shurmur's blindside protector at left tackle. Holden was named a 2016 Second Team All-SEC selection.
Feb 14 - 3:35 PM

An AFC East regional scout told NFL Media's Lance Zierlein that Vanderbilt LB Zach Cunningham "needs to be uncovered so he can fly around and just go get the ball."

"He didn't have much help over there and he took it upon himself to make as many plays as possible," the scout told Zierlein, adding, "I love that mindset." Near the end of January, an NFL scout called the 6-foot-2, 230-pound Vanderbilt standout the best linebacker in the draft due to his size, speed and motor. He is most certainly in the Day 1 conversation.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 9 - 6:27 PM

Vanderbilt signed three-star 2017 LB Dimitri Moore.

Moore took official visits to Minnesota, Vanderbilt, Colorado and Kansas State this past autumn. He committed to Vanderbilt in October and didn't shift off that in the intervening months before National Signing Day. ESPN -- which ranks the 6-foot-3, 200-pounder as their No. 84 linebacking prospect in the 2017 class -- notes that Moore "[s]hows playmaking ability along with the skill to close in space."
Feb 3 - 6:27 PM

Former Illinois junior RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn will transfer to Vanderbilt.

Vaughn was Tennessee's top running back recruit in 2014 and rushed for 1,024 yards and nine TDs in 22 games over the last two seasons. His freshman season was far better than his sophomore campaign, and with Lovie Smith in his second year Vaughn likely thought another program would suit him better. Vaughn will be forced to sit out the 2017 season.
Feb 1 - 10:54 AM

Vanderbilt is working on a contract extension for HC Derek Mason.

While Vanderbilt is an outwardly poor 13-24 in Mason's three seasons at the helm, the Commodores went 6-6 during the regular season of the past campaign. They made the Independence Bowl for their efforts. NC State beat them in that contest, but despite the tough ending, 2016 marked a noticeable step forward for Vanderbilt on the whole. Mason's defense allowed just 24 points on average last season.
Jan 26 - 7:16 PM

NJ.com's Mark Eckel spoke with an NFL scout who ranks Vanderbilt LB Zach Cunningham as the Draft's best linebacker.

"I love him," the scout said. "He's big, fast, athletic, plays his (butt) off." The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder has 4.75 wheels and an impressive collegiate resume. This past season, Cunningham logged 125 tackles, 16.5 TFL, three passes defensed and two fumbles forced over 13 games. If he gets out of Round 1, he won't last long on Day 2.
Source: NJ.com
Jan 25 - 2:05 PM

NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah says Vanderbilt T William Holden "stood out as one of the best linemen" at Shrine Game practices.

The 6-foot-7, 312-pounder started all 13 games in his fifth year protecting Kyle Shurmur's blindside at left tackle. For that work, he was a 2016 Second Team All-SEC selection. "He lost a couple one-on-one battles to [Florida Atlantic DE Trey] Hendrickson, but I thought he was competitive despite moving back and forth from guard to tackle," Jeremiah wrote. "He needs to improve his core strength, but he has some tools to work with at the next level."
Source: NFL.com
Jan 20 - 2:32 PM

Illinois junior RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn will transfer.

Vaughn briefly looked like a program building block when he rushed for a team-leading 723 yards and six rushing touchdowns as a freshman in 2015. But under new head coach Lovie Smith this past season, he regressed to 301 yards and three touchdowns while getting buried on the depth chart behind Kendrick Foster and Reggie Corbin. If Vaughn transfers to another FBS program, he'll use 2017 as a redshirt season and then be eligible to play for the two years after that.
Jan 19 - 3:48 PM


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