Clark Lea comfortable with taking Vanderbilt quarterback competition 'into game week'

Aria Gerson
Nashville Tennessean

Clark Lea's mantra is that everything is earned for Vanderbilt football. It doesn't matter who you were last year. That has carried over to the quarterback room, where sophomores Ken Seals and Mike Wright, along with senior Jeremy Moussa, are competing for the starting job despite Seals having set a bevy of school freshman records last year.

On Wednesday, first-year Vanderbilt coach Lea didn't want to push the timeline for when he'd name a starter.

"I don't know that it necessarily is beneficial to have a date where we have to name a quarterback," Lea said. "To me it's a matter of letting the competition play out. ... Obviously you can develop chemistry when you have a named starter and you kind of know who's going to be out there together but I'm very comfortable taking that into game week because ultimately what you just want to see is the competition."

Seals and Wright, the frontrunners for the job, have different skillsets, with Seals being a pro-style pocket passer and Wright having more mobility and speed. Lea knows this, and he knows that the style of offense they'd both fit in are different. Still, he wants to take his time before naming a starter.

"As far as comparing skillsets and building offense around skillsets, ultimately it's going to be about how they influence the other 10 players, and again in a scrimmage setting you're going to get a feel for their command of a huddle, their command of situation, their ability to lead drives to touchdowns and that will ultimately be what they're measured on," Lea said. "Both guys have really strong personalities, they have real strong leadership skills, we want to see who can lead the offense and be effective, to convert on conversion downs, to score touchdowns in the red zone."

COACH CLARK LEA:Vanderbilt's Clark Lea sends message to Commodores in first preseason practice

PRESEASON NOTES:Vanderbilt's Clark Lea talks jersey numbers, emerging receivers and Bobby Bowden's legacy

VANDERBILT FOOTBALL'S NEW UNIFORMS:Vanderbilt football previews new uniforms and helmets for 2021

Aria Gerson covers Vanderbilt athletics for The Tennessean. Contact her at or on Twitter @aria_gerson.