As Vanderbilt exited spring practice, it seemed Vanderbilt’s quarterback situation had emerged from the fog of the last 14 months.

New offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig wouldn’t come out and crown Patton Robinette as the starter, but it seemed clear the job was Robinette’s to lose. He played the best in the spring game, he was the most consistent in practice and he had a track record for being a much more accurate passer than the others.

Then Robinette dropped a bombshell Friday, hanging up his cleats for medical school. He’ll enroll this summer, study orthopedics and one day hopes to become the Vanderbilt team doctor.

“I don’t know if that would even be possible, especially here at Vanderbilt,” Robinette said. “More than that, this is my career we’re talking about. I want to be able to give that 110 percent of my focus.”

What now for Vandy at quarterback? Back into the abyss for the Commodores?

Kudos for Robinette for choosing to focus on his future career ahead of football, given the pressures there are in the SEC — yes, even at Vandy — to treat the game as a god of sorts. Devoting himself to medical school will pay dividends the rest of his life, and it’s tough to be a starting SEC quarterback while pouring that many hours into such intense study.

But his decision has thrown the most important position of the offseason back into flux, making things tough on Ludwig and coach Derek Mason.

Wade Freebeck, Johnny McCrary, Shawn Stankavage and Kyle Shurmur represent the remaining options, though Shurmur, a four-star signee, has yet to enroll and likely will redshirt.

Ludwig emphasized accuracy as the No. 1 priority for this year’s quarterback. McCrary completed just 51.3 percent of his passes in ’14 and Freeback just 47.2 as opposed to Robinette’s 64.2.

Vanderbilt also staged spring practice very early in the year (the ‘Dores were the second-earliest FBS team to launch, behind Duke) in part so the team could spend the rest of the semester re-enforcing the on-field work with meetings and video study. But Robinette’s exit negates part of that strategy.

Coaches are allowed to spend two hours per week with players in the classroom or on the field (without a football, mostly doing walk-thru type drills) the rest of Vanderbilt’s semester, per NCAA rules. That’s not going to much for Ludwig.

The position at this point is pretty wide open. McCrary exited spring as the presumed backup, and despite completing just 2-of-11 passes for 11 yards and two interceptions in the Black & Gold game, he probably is the odds-on favorite.

Will Vanderbilt rethink the implied plan to redshirt the touted Shurmur? Can Stankavage, who redshirted last season despite the team playing four other quarterbacks, be a surprise entrant who wiggles his way to the front by September? Can Freebeck be any more than the career backup he resembled when he played in ’14? Or will McCrary be the guy by default?

Those are now questions that Vanderbilt will have to resolve in a few weeks of fall practice, as the team can’t afford to replicate last year’s scattershot version of quarterback roulette.

Mason’s attempt to save the ship before it even sails out of port in just his second season has gotten even more challenging.