June 4, 2014
Vanderbilt has bolstered its depth at quarterback, announcing the transfer of former LSU signal caller Stephen Rivers to the Commodore roster.
Rivers, a 6-6, 230-lb. native of Alabama, has two years of eligibility remaining and will compete for Vanderbilt's open starting quarterback position when the Commodores report in August.
Rivers, who completed an undergraduate degree at LSU in mid-May, was granted the waiver to join Vanderbilt late Tuesday by the Southeastern Conference. He will enter postgraduate studies in Vanderbilt's Divinity School this summer.
Vanderbilt Head Coach Derek Mason has quickly addressed major depth issues at quarterback since arriving on campus in January. After going through spring drills with just two quarterbacks, redshirt sophomore Patton Robinette and redshirt freshman Johnny McCrary, the Commodore offensive staff could have six prospects when camp opens in early August: Robinette, McCrary, Rivers, redshirt junior Josh Grady and incoming freshmen Wade Freebeck and Shawn Stankavage.
"I'm happy for Stephen and looking forward to having him join our program," Mason said. "Stephen brings both ability and experience to our team. He also fits the offensive system we will run under (offensive coordinator) Karl Dorrell. We're going to see great competition at the quarterback position this August."
Robinette returns as the only quarterback with substantial action at the position. As a redshirt freshman in 2013, he started three late-season games, including the Commodores' win at Florida and its victory over Houston in the BBVA Compass Bowl.
Rivers has worn an LSU uniform for the last three years. After redshirting as a true freshman in 2011, he played behind Tiger starter Zach Mettenberger in 2012-13, seeing limited action in four games. Mettenberger is now with the Tennessee Titans, having been selected in the sixth round of the recent NFL Draft.
The son of a successful high school coach, Rivers was a standout quarterback Athens (Ala.) High School. In 2009-10, he threw for 3,300 yards and 35 touchdowns, helping Athens to consecutive state playoff appearances as a junior and senior. After his senior season, the three-star prospect led Alabama to a victory in the 2010 Alabama-Mississippi High School All-Star Classic.
Rivers and the former Emily Stephens were married May 31.
Like former Vanderbilt starting quarterback Jordan Rodgers, Rivers comes from a family of outstanding signal callers. His older brother, Philip, ranks among the NFL's elite quarterbacks, soon to enter his ninth season as the San Diego Chargers' starter.