Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Test your knowlege of Vanderbilt offensive linemen in our exciting new poll!

OK, OK, so you probably can't name Vandy's 15 offensive linemen right off the top of your head. (You're not cursed like we are.) But our thoughts have turned to the O-Line after the realization that Reilly Lauer, by far our most experienced lineman, has vanished from the roster.

Remember how many hundreds of games last year's offensive line had collectively played and even started? Well, that's a thing of the past — along with Lauer, we've lost Thomas Welch, Bradley Vierling, Ryan Custer and Eric Hensley. Which, by the way, was our starting lineup for most of last season.

Anyway, the results of our wide receiver poll are so interesting that we thought we'd try the same thing with the offensive line. But in the spirit of humility that befits the men in the trenches, we've placed the new O-Line poll under the wide receiver poll.

Here's a quick look at the candidates:

Guys with starting experience:
• Joey Bailey, a redshirt senior, started a few games as a sophomore but played a bunch last season and is our most experienced center.
• Kyle Fischer, a redshirt junior, made freshman All-SEC in 2008 and has started off and on at guard and tackle.
• James Williams, a redshirt junior, burst on the scene in 2009, starting at right tackle and holding his own against the LSU front until breaking his ankle.
• Ryan Seymour, a redshirt sophomore, started for the injured Thomas Welch against Florida and capably protected the Vandy quarterback against the Gators vaunted front seven. Made freshman All-SEC and is being groomed to take over at left tackle.

Guys with playing experience:
• Chris Aaron, a redshirt senior and former walk-on, played some at guard last year and has also been practicing at center.
• Caleb Welchans, a redshirt sophomore, saw substantial action at right tackle and was pushing Reilly Lauer by the end of the season.

Guys with pine time:
• Rob Ashabranner, a redshirt junior, played some quarterback in high school but the comparisons to Thomas Welch end right there.
• Richard Cagle, a redshirt sophomore, was pushed to the bench by classmates Welchans and Seymour.

The redshirt freshmen:
• Wesley Johnson was a coveted prep prospect from Nashville who arrived on campus standing 6-foot-5 but weighing 250. If he's been putting on the pounds, he'll probably crack the starting lineup this season.
• Mylon Brown is the nephew of the late All-Pro Jerome Brown and a beast at 6-foot-6 and well over 300 pounds. The Commodores stole him last year after he seriously injured his leg in high school. He appears to have recovered.
• Justin Cabbagestalk is still in school and appears ready for spring practice.

The true freshman:
• Grant Ramsay is probably the most game-ready, whatever that means, probably at guard. But Bobby Johnson hasn't played an offensive lineman as a true freshman since Hamilton Holliday in 2004. (Corrected 1/21.)
• Logan Stewart is another likely guard, but he's got some pounds to add before he plays.
• Chase White may have the best chance of the true freshman to eventually play tackle, but he's a project who'll need some time. (Chris Williams was a project who needed time.)


Anonymous said...

Brian Stamper, Mac Pyle and Hamilton Holliday played as true freshmen at Vanderbilt. Tom Sorensen also played as a true freshman at Vandy. All four were offensive linemen.


I stand corrected. Thanks. Yes, Stamper and Pyle played as true freshmen and then took a hiatus later in their careers, while Sorensen's true frosh year was his only one.