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 Football offseason transaction tracker

A 101 for all of Vanderbilt Football’s offseason movements.
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Lexie Perez
Vanderbilt’s offseason transaction tracker. (Hustler Multimedia/Lexie Perez)

Welcome to this year’s Vanderbilt Football offseason transaction tracker. On Saturday, Nov. 25, Vanderbilt played its final game of the 2023 season. The Commodores fell to Tennesee, marking their eighth consecutive loss. On Dec. 4, the NCAA Transfer Portal opened for all undergraduate transfers. The portal will close on Jan. 2. Less than 24 hours after Vanderbilt’s conclusion to its 2-10 season, several student-athletes declared they will be leaving Vanderbilt.

This offseason, expect a lot of movement both to Vanderbilt and away from Vanderbilt. Many players around the NCAA are expected to enter the transfer portal this season due to the extra year of eligibility granted for players during the 2020-21 COVID-19 season. Another reason for an expected increase in players entering the transfer portal is the introduction of compensation opportunities thanks to the novel Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) ruling.

To keep up with Vanderbilt Football's offseason transactions, The Hustler has created an Offseason Transaction Tracker. This tracker will be updated throughout the winter. Stay tuned for all updates.

STORY UPDATES

(Nov. 26, 1:53 p.m., CST): BREAKING: Quarterback Ken Seals to enter NCAA transfer portal

Seals started at quarterback in 22 games during his four-year tenure at Vanderbilt. He started all of the Commodores' games in his freshman season. The Texas native started in 7 of Vanderbilt’s 12 games in his sophomore season, which included throwing for 238 yards and a touchdown in Vanderbilt’s sole road win in 2021.

In his junior season, Seals fell to QB3 on the depth chart behind Mike Wright and AJ Swann. The senior will leave West End with the seventh-most passing touchdowns (28) in Vanderbilt history.

(Nov. 27, 7:01 p.m., CST): BREAKING: Vanderbilt quarterback AJ Swann enters transfer portal

Swann was heralded by many as the new face of Vanderbilt’s program after a freshman season that saw him throw for 1,274 yards, 10 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions. It was a less than fruitful season for the sophomore, who appeared in just six games this season, throwing for 1,457 yards, 12 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. The Georgia native suffered an elbow injury during the Commodores’ loss to UNLV in September. He appeared the week after in Vanderbilt’s 45-28 loss to Kentucky, completing just 40% of his passes for 189 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions.

(Nov. 29, 6:20 p.m., CST): BREAKING: Vanderbilt fires offensive coordinator Joey Lynch, demotes defensive coordinator Nick Howell

Lynch was the offensive coordinator for the Commodores in 2022 and 2023 and was the quarterbacks coach in 2021. In 2023, Vanderbilt ranked last in the SEC in total offense with 318.92 total yards.

It was also announced on Wednesday that defensive coordinator Nick Howell would be demoted to be the defensive backs coach. Lea will take over defensive coordinator duties.

(Dec. 3, 3:18 p.m., CST): BREAKING: Vanderbilt wide receiver Will Sheppard enters transfer portal

A former three-star recruit, Sheppard will end his Vanderbilt career as the Commodores’ seventh-leading receiver of all time with 2,067 career receiving yards. After a productive first two seasons, Sheppard broke out in his junior year, tallying 776 yards and nine touchdowns en route to second team All-SEC honors. Following a strong senior season (684 yards, 8 TDs), Sheppard will head for greener pastures in his last year of eligibility.

(Dec. 16, 9:16 p.m., CST): Reports: Vanderbilt to hire Tim Beck as offensive coordinator

On Saturday evening, ESPN confirmed that Tim Beck will be the next offensive coordinator for the Vanderbilt Commodores. Beck will leave New Mexico State, where he was the offensive coordinator in 2022.

Beck will fill in for Joey Lynch, who was fired after the 2023 season. The Vanderbilt offense has suffered several losses via the transfer portal this offseason, such as the departures of star wideouts Will Sheppard and London Humphreys.

(Dec. 17, 7:15 p.m., CST): BREAKING: Vanderbilt lands 4-star quarterback Nate Johnson in transfer portal

Nate Johnson, a dual-threat quarterback, brings an added layer to a Vanderbilt offense that ranked dead last in the SEC in total offense last season. The sophomore appeared in seven games last season for Utah, passing for 499 yards and 5 touchdowns while adding another 2 scores on the ground.

After losing nearly 20 scholarship players to the transfer portal, head coach Clark Lea & Co. have responded, with Johnson serving as just the most recent of an exciting group of brand-new Commodores. The new leader of the offense will link up with a fellow first-year piece, offensive coordinator Tim Beck, who joins the team after leading the New Mexico State Aggies’ highly efficient offense last season.

(Dec. 22, 1:20 p.m., CST): Vanderbilt Football Signing Day: Clark Lea, Vanderbilt make big splashes for Class of 2024

On Wednesday, Dec. 20, head coach Clark Lea and the Vanderbilt coaching staff formally signed 19 high schoolers from the Class of 2024 to a National Letter of Intent during early signing period of National Signing Day. The signing class is ranked 38th by Rivals, 40th by 247Sports, 40th by On3 and 45th by ESPN.

Vanderbilt’s highest-rated commitment was safety Dontae Carter: The four-star defender from Cibolo, Texas will look to make an immediate impact at Vanderbilt. He notched 140 tackles and had 14 interceptions across his final two seasons at Byron P. Steele High School, and comes in as the second-best safety in the Class of 2024, according to On3.

Outgoing transfers (19)

Daveon Walker, Barrett Maddox, Kevo Wesley, Ken Seals, Ethan Barr, Jacob Lurie, AJ Swann, Nate Clifton, Patrick Smith, Jayden McGowan, Walter Taylor, Gamarion Carter, Savion Riley, Will Sheppard, London Humphreys, De'Rickey Wright, Logan Kyle, Justin Ball, Junior Uzebu

Incoming transfers (13)

Zaylin Wood, Randon Fontenette, Kolbey Taylor, Steven Losoya III, Julian Ashby, Kisean Johnson, Nate Johnson, Khordae Sydnor, Blaze Berlowitz, Marlon Jones Jr., Jeremiah Dillon, Loic Fouonji, Jesse Mirco

https://twitter.com/kolbeyT2021/status/1731782059243209125

High School signees (19)

Boski Barrett, Callahan Blair, Simeon Boulware, Tristen Brown, Johann Cardenas, Dontae Carter, Mason Carter, Brycen Coleman, Jamison Curtis, Witt Edwards, Tate Hamby, Jaylin Lackey, Joseph McVay, Whit Muschamp, Josh Raymond, Glenn Seabrooks III, Jérémy St-Hillaire, CJ Williams, Alvin Williamson Jr.

Key Returnees (7)

Gunnar Hansen, Christian James, Langston Patterson, Jeffrey Ugochukwu, Kamrean Johnson, Marlen Sewell, CJ Taylor

Declared for NFL Draft (3)

Jaylen Mahoney, Bradley Ashmore, BJ Anderson

Instagram will load in the frontend.

Staff additions (2)

Tim Beck (offensive coordinator), Robert Stiner (director of football strength and conditioning)

Staff departures (2)

Brandon Hourigan (director of football strength and conditioning), Joey Lynch (offensive coordinator)

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About the Contributors
Andrew Wilf, Sports Editor
Andrew Wilf (’24) is Sports Editor for The Vanderbilt Hustler. He is from Livingston, N.J., and is majoring in history and minoring in business. He joined the sports staff his freshman year, previously serving as a Staff Writer, Assistant Sports Editor and Deputy Sports Editor. Beyond writing for The Hustler, he is also the host of Anchor Analysis, Commodore Clash and Live From West End. In his free time, Andrew enjoys watching the NFL and playing golf. He can be reached at [email protected].
Lexie Perez, Graphics Director
Lexie Perez (‘26) is from Northern Virginia and is majoring in climate studies and human and organizational development and minoring in business in the College of Arts and Science. She enjoys listening to 70s and 80s pop music, doing the daily Wordle and rooting for the Nashville Predators and Cincinnati Bengals. She can be reached at [email protected].
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