The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News 2

June 4, 2014

Former Athens standout, Rivers, transfers to Vanderbilt

— A quarterback named Rivers could be suiting up in Nashville this fall. It won’t be San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, returning to play the Titans, but rather his younger brother, Stephen.

Stephen announced Thursday, he will transfer to Vanderbilt University to compete for the starting quarterback position. Since he graduated from LSU in May, Rivers will be eligible to play for the Commodores in 2014.

The former Athens High standout will be a redshirt junior and have two years of eligibility remaining. Nicknamed “Moon” by one of his offensive coaches, Rivers played in four games with the Tigers as a redshirt freshman and spent the 2013 season as the No. 3 quarterback on the depth chart.

“It’s hard, but it’s a good thing at the same time,” Rivers said in February about transferring. “I want to get on the field and play, which I haven’t done much since high school except for a few snaps here and there.”

Rivers will compete with returning Vanderbilt quarterbacks Patton Robinette and Johnny McCrary. Niether player was named the starter by new head coach Derek Mason after the spring game.

Rivers, at 6-foot, 7-inches and 240 pounds, is much bigger since graduating from Athens High School in 2011.

“The most noticeable difference is his size now, and there’s a big difference in his durability,” Athens head coach Allen Creasy said in March. “He has increased his strength throwing the ball — he’s able to throw the ball better downfield, and he’s always been extremely accurate.”

Rivers brings a different dimension to the Vanderbilt quarterback race than Robinette or McCrary, who are both dual-threat quarterbacks. Rivers announced his decision via twitter Thursday.

“Excited about a new opportunity and meeting new teammates,” Rivers tweeted with a Vanderbilt logo attached.

The Athens native is taking advantage of an NCAA rule that allows players who have completed their undergraduate degree to transfer to another FBS school without having to sit out one season.

Rivers threw for 1,158 yards and 12 touchdowns his senior year at Athens and was rated a 3-star prospect by He had scholarship offers from Arizona State, Florida State, Kentucky, Mississippi State , Stanford, Tennessee, UCLA and North Carolina State among others.

Rivers, who married Emily Stephens May 24, graduated from LSU with a degree in sports administration. The SEC granted him a waiver to enter postgraduate studies in Vanderbilt’s Divinity School this summer.

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Local News 2
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    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

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    The South last won 85-76 in in 2002.

    July 24, 2014

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    East Limestone’s Dilan Sayer scored the opening goal and was named MVP of the boys game in a 3-0 win while Jordan Runion scored her team’s opening goal in a 3-1 for the girls.

    July 23, 2014

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    Pitching duties were shared by Lexington’s Jessie Butler, Central-Florence’s Ashley Irons and Hartselle’s Jada Hayes along with eventual North MVP Maddie Moore of Winfield.

    July 23, 2014

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    July 23, 2014

  • Strong local presence at state All-Star Week

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    July 19, 2014

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    A standout on West Limestone’s football team, Seibert’s road to Tuscaloosa wasn’t an easy one. Determined to play at the highest level, he attempted to join the Tide as a walk-on in fall 1993.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • State softball tournament begins in Athens today

    The three-day, double-elimination event begins at 6 tonight at the Athens Sportsplex.

    July 11, 2014

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