Friday, October 2, 2009

Which Commodores have a shot at All-SEC this year?

With a third of the season under our belts, it's time to examine which Vandy players may have a bead on All-SEC honors:

• Chris Marve: The redshirt sophomore linebacker made the All-Freshman team last season, made preseason second team All-SEC on some polls, and turns the most heads in opposing film rooms. He's a big-play waiting to happen, and he'll singlehandedly change the course of at least one of Vandy's games in the remainder of the season. Just watch.
• Myron Lewis: Took a backseat last year to D.J. Moore but scouts are starting to watch Myron and think that he's an even better NFL prospect. Made a few preseason second teams, but if Vandy keeps shutting down opposing passing games, he'll crack the first team.
• Casey Hayward and Sean Richardson: Sophomore DBs have looked terrific in their first season as starters. With teammate Lewis a lock for All-SEC and so many Florida DBs demanding voters' attention, you won't see both these guys make the second team, but one of them could. Which one?
• The freshmen: Last season, Vandy landed four players on the All-Freshman SEC team (Brandon Barden, Chris Marve, Kyle Fischer, T.J. Greenstone) and could surpass that number this season. Candidates include Ryan Fowler, Eddie Foster, Trey Wilson, Eric Samuels, Zac Stacy, Warren Norman, John Cole and Collin Ashley.

• Patrick Benoist: One of the quietest second-team All-SEC selections ever last season, and one of the quietest star linebackers we've ever had. Incredibly steady while being remarkably unimpressive looking. And he just keeps getting better.
• Bradley Vierling: Has always been a long-shot, especially as the offense continues to struggle, but he's one of the most quotable guys in the SEC and that never hurts when sports writers are voting in one of the polls.
• Brett Upson: Started off woefully bad, but kept us in the LSU and Miss State games and could land on a second team.

• Greg Billinger: Bobby Johnson lobbied for Billinger in the preseason, saying that the D-Line is one of the strengths of the defense, but that really hasn't been true so far this season. Fairly steady, but not anywhere near our linebackers or secondary.
• Brandon Barden: An All-SEC freshman selection last season who with the rest of the receiving corps has looked out of sync. That could change as Larry learns to dial down those speedballs.
• Thomas Welch: With the glut of tackles in the league and Vandy's continued struggle to move the ball, Welch doesn't have much of a shot, though he could be a sleeper in the NFL draft.

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