Monday, October 17, 2011

Jordan Rodgers and Larry Smith still co-starters and other developments on the Vandy-Army depth chart

Let's take our weekly look at changes to the depth chart.


• Jordan Rodgers and Larry Smith are listed as co-starters at quarterback for the second straight week. Franklin said in his press conference today that he would prefer to play one quarterback. That bodes well for Rodgers, who has played in every game this season, seeing his playing time gradually increase.


• Redshirt freshman Vince Taylor and true freshman Barron Dixon are listed as backups to Colt Nichter at defensive tackle, forming a five-man rotation with Nichter, fellow starter Rob Lohr and sophomore Jared Morse. Dixon played in his first game against Georgia, replacing the injured T.J. Greenstone in the rotation. Taylor has been in the rotation since sitting out the opener against Elon, but this is his first week to be listed on the depth chart.

• Ryan Fowler is now listed as a co-starter at punter with fellow redshirt junior Richard Kent. Kent has started all season but was benched after dropping a snap that led to a Bulldog touchdown and was replaced by Fowler, who threw a long first-down strike to snapper Andrew East on a fourth down fake punt, but didn't appear to have Kent's power or hang time. Expect to see Kent return — Franklin has been calling him "Comeback Kent" in meetings.

• Cornerback Casey Hayward is listed as a backup to punt returner Jonathan Krause. The Commodores have struggled to break anything off a punt return, and Hayward could be just what the doctor ordered.

• Mylon Brown is listed as the sole starter at right guard, after being listed last week as a co-starter with redshirt junior Josh Jelesky, who's still learning the ropes since moving to offense late in the summer. Brown started against Georgia, and has started in every game so far this year.


• Five offensive players (running back Zac Stacy and linemen Ryan Seymour, Wesley Johnson, Kyle Fischer and Brown) and eight defensive players (end Tim Fugger, tackles Lohr and Nichter, linebackers Chris Marve and Chase Garnham, cornerbacks Hayward and Trey Wilson and safety Sean Richardson) are set to start their seventh game of the season.

• Jordan Matthews and Chris Boyd continue to be listed as co-starters at wide receiver, but Matthews has gotten the nod over Boyd in five out of six games so far. Jonathan Krause, who had his bell rung in a dirty play by Georgia, is listed as the other starter, and Wesley Tate is listed as the third starter if Vandy goes with a three-receiver lineup, which it's done twice this season.

• Junior Al Owens is listed as the backup at both strongside and weakside linebacker but hasn't been seeing much big-game action at either position. With the injury to Tristan Strong, Vandy has serious problems with depth here. Also, I notice that redshirt freshman Blake Gowder is no longer on the roster. That frees up another scholarship. With the verbal commitment of mammoth Texas tackle Adam Butler, we've got one solid scholarship left but I expect us to clear out another 2-4 scholarships by the end of the season.

• For the second straight week, Kenny Ladler is listed as the solo starter at free safety after losing his starting position to redshirt sophomore Javon Marshall in preseason camp. Ladler and Marshall have each started three games this season.


parlagi said...

Dang, I wish I'd seen this last night instead of going through the depth chart myself. Good work.

I got the feeling Kent was benched because he got his bell rung. Three Bulldogs leveled him as he sort-of (but not really) got off that muffed punt.

How did Greenstone get injured?

VandyPhile said...

I think TJ was injured against Bama.

Dimon K-H said...

Didn't think Kent got hurt, but it's funny how Franklin acts like a player doesn't exist if he's hurt. In the summer, he acted like Logan Stewart had just regressed and was behind the other linemen when he actually had mono and had lost a bunch of weight.

Anonymous said...

I fully support CJF, but it seems a little strange to list Rogers and Smith as co-starters after the UGA game. I completely respect what LS has done for the program, but it seems to any observer that Rogers deserves the start against Army. Mathews and Boyd as co-starters also seems a little strange. Seems like they would both be starters unless they are both only going to play at the "X" wr position this entire season. CJF seems to be a little paranoid about not wanting to tip his hand to players and other coaches each week regarding who will or will not start or play. Just sayin...

Dimon K-H said...

I have the utmost confidence that Franklin's handling the QB situation the right way. A good portion of our fan base seems desperate to see Larry gone from the starting lineup. That appears to be happening, but it's a process that Franklin's conducting with care, which is not the same thing as being tentative. It's all about competition. He wants Larry to continue to fight for his job, which will make Jordan fight even harder to win it. And if Jordan does become the starter, we can still expect to see Smith playing at least a series or two every game, especially to take some hits in running situations or take a shot downfield at a home-run ball. Recent history has shown that Vandy needs at least two and sometimes three quarterbacks to get through an SEC season.