The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Vanderbilt has just 49 active scholarship players for Saturday’s matchup with Tennessee

The Commodores are shorthanded again on Saturday, as they face the Tennessee Volunteers below the SEC threshold of 53 active scholarship players.
Vanderbilt+football+debuted+retro+Vandy+helmets+in+Week+Two+against+LSU.+%28Hustler+Multimedia%2FHunter+Long%29
Vanderbilt football debuted retro “Vandy” helmets in Week Two against LSU. (Hustler Multimedia/Hunter Long)

Vanderbilt is dressing only 49 scholarship players for its final game against Tennessee on Saturday due to opt-outs, COVID-19 quarantines and injuries, a university spokesperson told The Hustler.

The minimum threshold set by the Southeastern Conference (SEC) is 53 active scholarship players. If a team falls below the minimum, it can still choose to play rather than have the game postponed or declared a no-contest.

Among Vanderbilt’s notable absences are Dayo Odeyingbo, a senior defensive linemen who opted out this week, senior wide receiver James Bostic, junior defensive end Rutger Reitmaier, sophomore defensive tackle Daevion Davis and junior safety Max Worship.

Vanderbilt’s depth chart lists sophomores Jaylen Mahoney and Justin Harris as the top-two outside linebackers across from Andre Mintze. Mahoney, listed at 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, is a cornerback by trade, while Harris, 6-foot-1, 194 pounds, is a safety.

Interim head coach Todd Fitch noted Tuesday that not all missing players had opted out of the season.

“[Players who talked to me] on Sunday and Monday when this all happened, when they first relieved Coach [Derek] Mason—I talked to a lot of guys, like eight or nine guys about their futures and what’s going on,” he said. “The player’s gotta do what’s best for him, and we’re just trying to do what’s best for our program.”

Vanderbilt (0-8) hosts Tennessee (2-6) Saturday at 3:00 p.m. CST.

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About the Contributor
Simon Gibbs, Former Sports Editor
Simon Gibbs (‘21) is the former Sports Editor for The Vanderbilt Hustler. He has been on staff since the first semester of his freshman year, previously serving as a Staff Writer, Senior Writer and Deputy Sports Editor. Simon is also the host of VU Sports Wired on Vanderbilt Video Productions and The Hustler Sports 30 on VandyRadio. Simon has attended several events as credentialed media, including the 2019 NFL Draft, 2019 College Baseball World Series and the 2019 SEC Tournament. Outside of his Commodore coverage, Simon has had bylines published on NHL.com and NashvillePredators.com. When he's not writing, you can find Simon watching his hometown New York Mets, waiting for that next ring. For tips, comments or concerns, please reach out to: [email protected]    
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