Saturday, August 29, 2009

Theron Kadri back, says he almost made "a big mistake"; meanwhile, Vandy receivers are (mostly) still short

The Tennessean's Jeff Lockridge reports that Theron Kadri has returned to the team. That's good news. With Steven Stone out for at least a month, that means Kadri and Teriall Brannon will back starters Broderick Stewart and Tim Fugger, and they'll get help from redshirt freshmen Johnell Thomas and Josh Jelesky. It also means Walker May can get back to the chow hall and put on some more weight. We'll need you next season, buddy.

“I wasn’t sure if this was the place I needed to stay," Kadri told the Tennessean. "From talking to my teammates who have graduated from here and who are still here now and family members, they all just advised me and helped me through it. And (they) helped me make the right decision and stopped me from making a big mistake.”

The smart thing Kadri did was stay on campus and attend class during the three days he was away from the team. Johnson said Kadri was welcomed back with "open arms," adding: "I think Theron knows for him the best place is Vanderbilt. And we’re glad to have him back.”

After it was announced earlier this week that Kadri was leaving, some Vandy fans said good riddance and called Kadri's career a bust. Not so fast. The guy's only played two seasons, and it's really quite an achievement to avoid a redshirt in a Bobby Johnson program. It means you've got — or will soon get — game.

WIDE RECEIVER UPDATE: John Cole's running well and appears to be recovered from his baffling array of injuries. We really, really need him healthy. Speaking of receivers, much has been made lately of the vertical challenges our receivers face. The likely starters are the 5-11 Cole, plus 5-10 Alex Washington, and 6-0 Udom Umoh. Second teamers, at least on the preseason depth chart, are 5-9 Chris Reinert, 6-0 Tray Herndon and 6-1 Turner Wimberly.

"They’re not basketball players, no," Coach Bobby Johnson said in a video interview on Thursday night.

Actually, redshirt freshman Akeem Dunham was a high school basketball star. He's positively towering at 6-3. Of course, true freshman Brady Brown is 6-4. The other true freshman, Collin Ashley, fits the Vandy mold a little better — he's 5-11.

REINERT NOT YOUR TYPICAL WALK-ON: Nice article in the The Hustler about Chris Reinert, the walk-on receiver from California who's best known for pumping up the crowd in last year's South Carolina game as he was being carried off the field with a broken leg. (The Hustler, by the way, is the name of the Vanderbilt student paper. I must say I enjoyed coming home for Thanksgiving my freshman year and telling my relatives I was writing articles for the The Hustler.) Did you know Reinert actually had a scholarship offer from Stanford? I didn't. He now has a scholarship to play for the Commodores.

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