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Eligible remaining players have decided to leave Vanderbilt

Spring practice is less than a week away and the Commodores roster will look different headed into the first practice. Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason announced today that three players have decided to move on with eligibility remaining in the black and gold uniform. Several positions on the depth chart will look different for the Dores as more players are rumored to be leaving as well.

Orlando native linebacker Landon Stokes, Yellowhammer state tight end DeAndre Woods and West coast tight end Sean Dowling were all announced today by Coach Mason as players that would be moving on in their careers and would not be a part of the Commodores football roster no longer. 

Stokes was a highly recruited prospect out of Lake Highland Prep High School who choose the Commodores over South Florida, UCF, South Carolina, Florida and several others. Stokes red-shirted as a true freshman and contributed significantly on defense during the last two years of his Vanderbilt career. He became a full time starter last season in Coach Mason's 3-4 defense at outside linebacker. Stokes was a steady guy stopping the run and would occasionally contribute sacks. Injuries slowed down his career at Vanderbilt, especially this past season. 

Woods was the lone guy of the players departing who contributed who played solid snaps and even put up some solid numbers. Injuries derailed Woods career at Vanderbilt. Two torn ACL's in his short career kept Woods on the injured list but when he was healthy, the Alabama native tight end showed outstanding athleticism and hands in the open field. Woods has already made his decision to transfer to Old Dominion to finish off his college career. 

Dowling was another highly recruited prospect coming out of high school who choose the Dores over UCLA, Arizona, California and several other West coast programs. Recruited as a tackle, Dowling came to Vanderbilt a bit undersized for the offensive line, so he was converted to a blocking tight end. The California native was the Commodores top blocking tight end and did a great job of helping the run game in his three years in uniform. 

These three players are not the only ones expected to move on with their careers. 

Other players rumored to be leaving include safety Jalen Banks, offensive lineman Delando Crooks and quarterback Wade Freebeck. A few more players could be looking elsewhere as well.

Clarity will fully be revealed when the Commodores began spring practice on the 27th of this month.  

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