Top-20 Commodores for 2020 Season

Greg Arias

Who are the top-20 Vanderbilt Commodores entering the 2020 college football season? It's a difficult question to answer and even more difficult when you sit down and attempt to place importance on individual players. 

What are the criteria we are using to rank these guys? Gut feelings basically as this is a very subjective thing where opinions are likely to vary depending on who responds. Still, it is something for the sake of discussion and will hopefully give our readers some insight into what we value as importance by positions and individual talents. 

So here goes nothing, or something, again depending on your perspective. 

TOP-20 Commodores in 2020

20) Ben Breshahan-Tight End: Why this ranking? Bresnahan will play a vital role for the offense this season and must be a security blanket type player for whichever quarterback gets the call. However, 19 others must play larger roles for this team  

19) Raashaun Wilkins Jr.- Defensive Tackle: Wilkins is stepping into the spot vacated by the move of Drew Birchmeier to the offensive line. While he is an inch shorter and a few pounds heavier than Birchmeier, the fact that head coach Derek Mason and defensive coordinator Ted Roof were willing to make this move shows the confidence they have in Wilkins to get the job done. 

18) Dayo Odeyingbo: Now a senior, Odeyingbo has the physical stature and ability to be an NFL prospect. He must play like one this season on the edge and give the Commodores a consistent pass rusher who can impact and affect the quarterback regularly. 

17) Pierson Cooke-Kicker: It might seem strange to have a kicker here, but considering the accuracy of the departed Ryley Guay last season, Cooke has some big shoes to fill, and he must be able to step into this role and come through, especially if the game is on the line. 

16) Amir Abdur-Rahman- Wide Receiver: We saw the playmaking abilities of Rahman two seasons ago, but injuries took him out of the equation last season. While not listed as a starter, he will get time and come through when the opportunities present themselves.  

15) Chris Pierce Jr.- Wide Receiver: like the Rahman mentioned above, Pierce as playmaking abilities, and considering he is currently listed atop the depth chart at one receiver position, he too much deliver and help take the pressure off his young quarterback, whichever one that might be on any given Saturday. 

14) Kenny Hebert- Linebacker: A returning starter whit the size and playmaking ability on defense, Hebert must take another step forward to join some of his fellow defenders who will appear above him on this list. 

13) Max Worship- Safety: Worship won the spot and, in doing so, helped former starter Tae Daley decide to transfer. Now that the position is his and last seasons starter is transferring, the junior must produce, or he could lose the spot two either of the true freshmen currently listed behind him on the depth chart. 

12) Anfernee Orji-Inside Linebacker: Playing beside Dimitri Moore should make the transition to the starting role somewhat easier for Orji. But that doesn't mean that the sophomore can take it easy. He must come to play and compliment Moore inside and help be a force against the run.   

11) Frank Coppet- Safety: Though not currently a starter, Coppet's return this season brings much-needed experience and depth to the back end of the Commodores defense. Derek Mason calls Coppet a coach on the field, and his play will be counted on this season.  

10) Randall Haynie-Cornerback: Haynie has had a tumultuous offseason as he found himself at the center of sexual assault allegations. While he has not commented publicly about these allegations, he has earned the starter's role, at least for week one, and must step up and produce when the opportunity is there.   

9) Allan George- Cornerback: One of the leaders and elder statesmen of the secondary, George, has assumed a prominent role early this season, and his play on the outside must be up to the level of competition he will see each week. It's a tall task, but one George seems confident about facing. 

8) Drew Birchmeir- Offensive Guard: Though new to this position, Birchmeir is a veteran and fully aware of what it's like in the trenches of the SEC. His move here can be seen as a good thing or a possible indictment of the available talent on this line, depending on perspective. Still, the Commodores will count on the experience and tenacity fo Birchmeir to produce in his new role. 

7) Tyler Steen- Offensive Tackle: Considered the best offensive lineman of the five starters, Steen is a veteran and must play like it while helping Grant Miller and Birchmeir lead this group.  

6) Jamari Wakefield-Running Back: Returning from injury, Wakefield and his running mates in the backfield must find a way to replace Ke'Shawn Vaughn. That could prove to be a challenging task, but Wakefield was set to share time with Vaughn last season before his injury. Now is his time to shine, and while he will have others to help carry the load, Wakefield needs to assume the lead role and produce.    

5) Grant Miller-Center: As the leader of a young and somewhat inexperienced offensive line, Miller is the guy in the middle who must make the calls and checks and help the youth around him be in the right place on every play.  

4) Quarterback: It's still unknown which of the four candidates will win the spot, but regardless of the name on the back of the jersey, that player will fill the most vital role on the field. However, other players must also step up to take the pressure and burden off this player. 

3) Dimitri Moore- Inside Linebacker: After choosing to opt-out, Moore's return has been a boost for the Commodores defense. The senior is a genuine NFL caliber defensive prospect, and one draft analyst has him listed in the top-100 players for the next NFL Draft. Moore must play to that level, lead this experienced and now deeper Vanderbilt defensive unit this season. If this team is to post anything in the win column, Moore and his defensive mates must lead the way.    

2) Tyrell Alexander- Wide Receiver: Mason has heaped praise on how Alexander, the Oklahoma State transfer, has performed since arriving in Nashville. His combination of experience, size (6'1" 185), and speed mean that he must produce and win one-on-ones on the outside for his quarterbacks who will need the receivers to shine in the new quick passing attack of offensive coordinator Todd Fitch.  

1) Cam Johnson; Wide Receiver: As the No.1 wide receiver, it's Johnson's time to shine. The junior has spoken about filling the role of Kalijah Lipscomb. While Lipscomb's numbers weren't spectacular last season, Johnson must fill his shoes as a leader in this position group and provide more production at this spot than what was there last season of the Commodores are to have a chance this season to break into the win column. 

There you have it, our list of the top-20 Commodores for 2020. Feel free to disagree and discuss amongst yourselves.