Vanderbilt football’s offensive depth took a hit this week. On Thursday, Robbie Weinstein of Vandy247 was first to report OL Drew Birchmeier and RB Ja’Veon Marlow are no longer with the team.
Birchmeier had spent his entire career on the defensive line before moving to offense as a redshirt senior for 2020. He was needed to help stabilize a patchwork offensive line that was decimated by injuries and COVID-19 opt-outs. While no one would consider the offensive line a strength of the team this past season, most would agree it was a unit that probably overachieved given the hand they were dealt. Birchmeier deserves credit for his part. He initially announced he would be returning for a sixth season, and figured to be in the mix for playing time at right guard.
After Keyon Henry-Brooks’ departure to Louisiana Tech, Marlow was the top returning rusher from last season, despite missing five games due to COVID-19 protocols and disciplinary issues. He finished his junior season with 186 yards on 46 carries (4.0 average). Temple transfer Re’Mahn Davis is the presumptive starter at running back, but Marlow looked to be the early favorite to be his primary backup despite struggling with injury issues in the spring.
No official statement has been given by either player, or Vanderbilt, and neither player has entered the transfer portal.