Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Let the battle begin — Vanderbilt spring football practice starts today

Hey, spring practice starts today. Here's some stuff you might want to know:

First practice: Today
Last practice: April 3
Black & Gold game: 10 a.m. March 28

The following players will sit out spring practice with injuries:
• LB Brandon Bryant, R-Sr.
• RB Jared Hawkins, R-Sr.
• CB Myron Lewis, Sr.
• DE Brandon Stewart, R-Sr.
• LB John Stokes, Jr.
Note: No true freshmen will be participating in spring training.

• Quarterback: R-Fr. Larry Smith vs. R-Sr. Mackenzi Adams
• Wide receiver: R-Fr. Akeem Dunham, R-So. Tray Herndon, R-So. Udom Umoh and R-Fr. John Cole fight for playing time alongside returning starter R-Sr. Justin Wheeler and hotshot transfer R-Jr. Terence Jeffers
• Running back: R-Jr. Kennard Reeves, R-So. Gaston Miller, R-So. Jermaine Doster and R-So. Ryan van Rensburg battle to back up Jared Hawkins… at least until the true freshmen arrive
• Offensive line: Seniors Thomas Welch and Bradley Vierling have the strongest lock on their positions, but R-So. Kyle Fischer, R-Jr. Reilly Lauer and especially R-Sr. Eric Hensley face competition from experienced backups R-Sr. Ryan Custer, R-Jr. Joey Bailey and R-So. James Williams and redshirt freshmen Richard Cagle, Michael Bryant, Ryan Seymour and Caleb Welchans.
• Defensive tackle: Three experienced players — Sr. Greg Billinger, R-Jr. Adam Smotherman and R-So. T.J. Greenstone — duke it out for two starting positions.
• Linebacker: The starters are sewn up, but solid backups Sr. Brent Trice, R-Jr. Austin Newton and R-Jr. Nate Campbell get competition from redshirt freshmen DeAndre Jones, Tristan Strong and Dexter Daniels and especially senior Brandon Bryant, who returns from injury.
• Secondary: All-purpose R-So. Jamie Graham battles So. Casey Hayward and R-Jr. Alan Strong for the starting cornerback position vacated by D.J. Moore as well as the nickel back slot vacated by Darlron Spead.

Here's a closer look at the players returning at each position:

Started every game: None
Starting experience: Mackenzi Adams, Larry Smith
Played in every game: None
Inexperienced: Jared Funk
True freshmen: Charlie Goro
Best bets to start: Smith

Started every game: None
Starting experience: Jared Hawkins
Played in every game: None
Playing time: Gaston Miller, Kennard Reeves
Inexperienced: Jermaine Doster, Ryan van Rensburg
True freshmen: Warren Norman, Zac Stacy, Wesley Tate
Best bets to start: Hawkins

Started every game: None
Starting experience: Jamie Graham, Justin Wheeler
Played in every game: Udom Umoh, Wheeler
Playing time: John Cole, Chris Reinert, Alex Washington, Turner Wimberly
Redshirts: Cole, Akeem Dunham, Tray Herndon, Terence Jeffers, Jameson Sackey
True freshmen: Brady Brown
Best bets to start: Cole, Jeffers, Wheeler

Started every game: None
Starting experience: Brandon Barden, Austin Monahan
Played in every game: Barden
Playing time: Justin Green
Inexperienced: Chris DeGeorge
True freshmen: Mason Johnston
Best bets to start: Barden

Started every game: Thomas Welch, Bradley Vierling
Starting experience: Joey Bailey, Ryan Custer, Kyle Fischer, Eric Hensley, Reilly Lauer
Played in every game: Custer, Fischer, Hensley
Playing time: Rob Ashabranner, James Williams
Redshirts: Michael Bryant, Richard Cagle, Ryan Seymour, Caleb Welchans
True freshmen: Mylon Brown, Justin Cabbagestalk, Wesley Johnson
Best bets to start: Fischer, Hensley, Lauer, Welch, Vierling

Started every game: Greg Billinger
Starting experience: T.J. Greenstone, Adam Smotherman
Played in every game: Billinger, Greenstone, Smotherman
Redshirts: Rob Lohr, Colt Nichter, Taylor Loftley
True freshmen: None
Best bets to start: Billinger, Smotherman

Started every game: Steven Stone
Starting experience: Teriall Brannon, Theron Kadri, Broderick Stewart
Played in every game: Stone
Playing time: Tim Fugger
Redshirts: John Burrow, Josh Jelesky, Johnell Thomas
True freshmen: Walker May, Thad McHaney
Best bets to start: Stewart, Stone

Started every game: Patrick Benoist, Chris Marve
Starting experience: John Stokes
Played in every game: Nate Campbell, Austin Newton, Stokes, Brent Trice
Playing time: Brandon Bryant, Michael Garcia
Redshirts: Archie Barnes, Dexter Daniels, DeAndre Jones, Tristan Strong
True freshmen: Blake Southerland
Best bets to start: Benoist, Marve, Stokes

Started every game: Ryan Hamilton, Myron Lewis
Starting experience: Jamie Graham (wide receiver)
Played in every game: Joel Caldwell, Casey Hayward, Sean Richardson, Alan Strong
Redshirts: Al Owens, Micah Powell
True freshmen: Eddie Foster, Jay Fullam, Javon Marshall, Eric Samuels, Trey Wilson
Best bets to start: Graham, Hamilton, Hayward, Lewis, Richardson

Started every game: Upson
Redshirts: Richard Kent
Best bets to start: Upson

Started every game: None
Starting experience: None
Playing time: None
Inexperienced: John Laughrey
Redshirt: Ryan Fowler
Best bets to start: Fowler

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