Monday, August 16, 2010

Battles highlight who's hot in Vandyland and who's not

We told you yesterday about which freshmen were exceeding expectations so far and which ones aren't. Now let's take a look at players in other classes:


• Offensive linemen: With so many spots up for grabs, sophomore Jabo Burrow and redshirt freshman Wesley Johnson are making a strong bid to man the left side of the line at guard and tackle respectively, and senior Joey Bailey has claimed the center position and the title of team captain. (Burrow suffered a concussion the other day in practice and will hopefull return.)

• The unlikely captain: Another captain, T.J. Greenstone, has started only one game in his entire Commodore career, but the unselfish kid is a force inside.

• Young linebackers: DeAndre Jones has always wowed people with his potential, but fellow sophomores Tristan Strong, Dexter Daniels and Archibald Barnes are overshadowing the Memphis native in a fierce battle to claim one open position.

• Free safety: Jay Fullam hopes to follow in Ryan Hamilton's footsteps as a redshirt who started four straight years at free safety, and so far he's successfully defending his job against a bunch of talented freshmen.


• More linebackers: In addition to Jones, senior Nate Campbell and converted safety Micah Powell, yet another sophomore, are trying to grab coaches' attention at linebacker.

• Wide receivers who aren't freshmen: Senior Turner Wimberly and junior Tray Herndon are losing their bid for playing time to three talented freshmen, and sophomore Akeem Dunham is in a fight for his life, too.

• Sophomore defensive tackles: While Rob Lohr is contending to start and Colt Nichter can be a steady backup, two more sophomores — Josh Jelesky and Taylor Loftley — are slipping on the depth chart and trying to stave off true freshmen Vince Taylor and Jared Morse.

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