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Sources: Barton Simmons joining Vanderbilt staff

Barton Simmons is joining Clark Lea's new Vanderbilt staff, sources confirmed to FootballScoop on Sunday.

Robbie Weinstein of Vandy247first reported the news, saying Simmons will oversee player personnel as Vanderbilt's general manager.

A Nashville native, Simmons has served as director of scouting since the site's founding in 2010. Beyond that, Simmons was a teammate of Lea's at Nashville's Montgomery Bell Academy.

The move continues a trend of analysts moving into front-office roles, most notably John Lynch and Mike Mayock leaving Fox and NFL Network, respectively, to become general managers of the 49ers and Raiders. Last month Chris Spielman left Fox's analyst booth to join the Detroit Lions, and for years NBA teams have hired writers to join their analytics departments.

At 247, Simmons was integral in developing the site's player rankings, evaluating thousands of prospects over his decade-plus career. He'll now be responsible for identifying recruits for Vanderbilt's unique situation, which requires high-achieving academic players who can also compete in the nation's most competitive conference. 247 ranked Vanderbilt's 2021 class 13th in the SEC; the Commodores were last in the conference in six of the seven years prior.

Simmons played college football at Yale, where he was a two-time All-Ivy League selection at safety.

He joined Rivals out of college before joining 247, where he also covered college football for CBS.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.