Also gone is stud wide receiver Jordan Matthews, who carried most of the load for the Commodores’ offense down the stretch last season.
Perhaps the most important change is behind center. Austyn Carta-Samuels graduated, leaving Patton Robinette as the new signal caller in Nashville.
Robinette is not new to the playing field or the starting job, but this fall, the job will be his. Last season, he filled in quite often, playing in 10 games overall. He was 46-of-88 (52.3 percent) through the air with four touchdowns, but he did throw five interceptions. That number will have to improve if he is to become a more effective quarterback in the Southeastern Conference.
He also showed the ability to make plays with his legs. Robinette rushed for 214 yards in 2013, with seven rushing touchdowns.
Robinette has already impressed the Vanderbilt fan base with his play. Last season, he led the ‘Dores to a comeback victory over the Georgia Bulldogs. He also helped Vandy beat the Florida Gators for the first time in 73 years, and he beat Vandy’s intrastate rivals, the Tennessee Volunteers. In the win over the Vols, it was Robinette’s touchdown run that sealed the victory at the end.
Mason will try to keep the momentum that Franklin built going in 2014. And if he’s able to do that, Robinette will likely play a big part in that success.
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.