Former LSU quarterback Stephen Rivers talked yesterday for the first time about his decision to transfer to Vanderbilt.
The tall pocket passer sees an opportunity at Vanderbilt to play right away, despite having to win the job over Patton Robinette and Johnny McCrary, two quarterbacks who practiced this spring.
“A lot of things went into it,” Rivers told The Tennessean. “I looked all across the United States for quarterbacks that graduated or had left (their program). This one looked great because it was close to home — that definitely played a part in it.”
Not only was it close to home, but neither Robinette nor McCrary did enough to be named the starter exiting spring practice. The two were locked into a battle that featured a returner with experience in Robinette and a big-play threat in McCrary.
That had to be encouraging for Rivers.
His brother, Philip, who currently plays for the San Diego Chargers, also played a part in his ultimate decision to transfer to Vanderbilt.
“He helped me out a lot,” Rivers said. “He has a lot of connections. He thought this would be a great spot for me.”
The Rivers family also consulted Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt, who happens to be a former Vanderbilt assistant. Whisenhunt was the Chargers’ offensive coordinator last season.
It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.
Rivers is a different quarterback than both Robinette and McCrary, and he gives Vanderbilt options at the position. Namely, offensive coordinator Karl Dorrell has three different types of signal callers. Robinette is a more seasoned veteran with big-game experience, while McCrary has the potential to be a big playmaker both running and passing. Then, there’s Rivers, who favors former LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger. He’s a tall pocket passer with a strong arm, and being a senior, he’s had some experience. It may not be game experience, but he’s learned under Cam Cameron and was the understudy of Mettenberger.
Regardless of which quarterback is named the starter prior to week one, I have a feeling all three will see action under center. The Commodores open up with Temple on August 28.