Player Losses Continue to Grow for Commodores

Greg Arias

The Vanderbilt Commodores lost three more players this week to opt-outs, injury or quarantine, and transfers, according to Derek Mason.  

The head Commodores disclosed the losses during a media conference call on Tuesday. Mason shared that junior linebacker Feleti Afemui has chosen to opt-out this season due to COVID-19 concerns. 

Afemui became the sixth Commodores to opt-out, joining Michigan transfer offensive lineman Stephen Spanellis and fellow offensive linemen Jonathan Stewart, Bryce Bailey, and Cole Clemens. 

On Monday, linebacker Colin Anderson announced via Twitter his intentions to enter his name into the transfer portal and leave the program. 

While Anderson's loss is one of depth, he was not expected to be a starter or play a prominent role this season on defense. 

Injuries will keep Linebacker Elijah McAllister and cornerback B.J. Anderson, both of whom were challenging for starting roles on defense, and safety Brendan Harris out for the opener against Texas A&M on Saturday. 

Linebacker Michael Owusu will also miss Saturday's contest as he is currently in quarantine because of COVID-19 protocols.   

"Everybody in the SEC has had opt-outs in some form or fashion, and everybody is trying to adjust their depth charts," head coaches Derek Mason said. "But we're focused on the task at hand. Come Saturday; we are going to have to be accountable and united in terms of how we play ball."

While opt-outs are a new phenomenon this season because of COVID-19, injuries and transfers are an accepted part of the college landscape. Still, teams are being forced to adjust almost weekly to the losses of players from opting out. Hopefully, those issues will alleviate themselves following the start of the season.  

Follow Greg on Twitter @GregAriasSports and @SIVanderbilt or Facebook at Vanderbilt Commodores-Maven.