Report: Several Vanderbilt Football Players Considering Opting Out of Next Game

Vanderbilt place kicker Sarah Fuller warms up before the start of an NCAA college football game against Missouri Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)
AP Photo/L.G. Patterson

Despite Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller’s stirring halftime speech and 30-yard kick Saturday, several of her fellow football players may opt out of their game against Georgia this weekend.

After Fuller’s debut second half kickoff, which ended in a 41-0 loss to Missouri, Vanderbilt fired head coach Derek Mason. Interim coach Todd Fitch told reporter Adam Sparks on Tuesday that “Sarah Fuller is the only kicker listed on Vandy’s depth chart vs. Georgia.”

Fitch also told Sparks he “‘talked to a couple of guys’ about players opting out.” and there would be roster updates later this week:

Sparks said, “Vandy interim coach Todd Fitch said Sarah Fuller is the team’s kicker vs. Georgia. Team also looking at options to perhaps add other kickers. But Fitch reiterated that he plans for Fuller to travel to Georgia. For now, she’s the kicker.” Ryley Guay, last year’s kicker, was mentioned as a possible kicker at Georgia, but his eligibility is in question at this point, since he is currently in medical school.

Fuller made history on Saturday, becoming the first woman to play on the field in a Power 5 college football game, during the second-half kickoff against the Missouri Tigers.

The championship Vanderbilt soccer player created a buzz amongst critics after she revealed to reporters after the game that she had delivered a halftime locker-room speech to the team. “I had coaches come up to me and say ‘I’ve been wanting to say that for a while now,’” Fuller reportedly said of her own locker-room speech. Media reports later questioned how it was that a first-time football player was chosen to deliver such an awe-inspiring speech to her new team, and also before her first-ever play in a game.

She took her critics in stride during a recent interview, saying, “At this point, like, what are you doing? You know? I am a [Division 1] soccer player. I’m going to Vanderbilt University. I’m getting my degree from here. I’ve done amazing things.”

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