football Edit

Bailey McElwain, Bryce Lewis not on Vanderbilt's spring roster

Vanderbilt's Bryce Lewis, shown playing in VU's win at Georgia in 2016.
Vanderbilt's Bryce Lewis, shown playing in VU's win at Georgia in 2016. (University of Georgia)

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--Fullback Bailey McElwain and cornerback Bryce Lewis, both scholarship players who were eligible to return for 2018, are not listed on Vanderbilt's football roster at the opening of the Commodores' spring practice.

McElwain was present in sweats, but wasn't in a jersey. VU's starting fullback as a true freshman in 2016, McElwain missed all of 2017 with health concerns.

Because of health concerns, Vanderbilt cannot comment on McElwain's status, but coach Derek Mason did say after VU's first spring practice that the Commodores hope to get McElwain medically cleared and back for fall.

Lewis played a major role as a reserve corner, and would have been a senior this year. With the Commodores thin at corner, Lewis had a shot to start opposite JoeJuan Williams.

Mason said that Lewis won't return as a player. He will be a student assistant with the team and help coach defensive backs.

Lewis is scheduled to graduate this year.

Lewis played nine games last year, but also missed games against Alabama, Florida and Kansas State due to injury. He played all 13 games in 2016, and started three.

That leaves the Commodores in a bind at corner. JoeJuan Williams returns to start as a junior at the other corner spot, but the only corner returnees with significant experience is Donovan Sheffield, a rising senior who played every game last year but has never started one in his career.

Sheffield had 14 tackles and broke up a pass in 2017.