The Vanderbilt Commodores have made the right choice by naming Patton Robinette as their starting quarterback.
Head coach Derek Mason chose Robinette over Johnny McCrary and Stephen Rivers, the brother of San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.
Robinette was the best choice for the ‘Dores as they move forward after the departure of former head coach James Franklin. Robinette was the only quarterback candidate who had any playing experience in a Vanderbilt uniform, having played in 10 games last season. Robinette actually started games last year against the Texas A&M Aggies, the Florida Gators and in the BBVA Compass Bowl win over the Houston Cougars.
Overall last season, Robinette connected on 46-of-88 (52.3 percent) passing for 642 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions. Robinette also rushed 71 times for 214 yards and seven touchdowns.
Robinette started in the Commodores’ first win in Gainesville since 1945, and while his numbers were not outstanding, he did enough to keep Vanderbilt in the game and, most importantly, did not turn the ball over in the Swamp.
Things have changed in Nashville with the departure of Franklin. However, Mason will keep the same lofty expectations in the football program. To reach those types of expectations, which include winning records and bowl games, making the right decision at quarterback was crucial. It appears that Mason has passed his first test as a head coach.
Robinette will have the benefit of starting the season against Temple. The following week, the ‘Dores face the Ole Miss Rebels before battling UMass. If Robinette can get acclimated during those three games, it would bode well for Vandy for the rest of the season.
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.