Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chase Garnham will be the perfect weakside linebacker... given some time

In response to a reader’s question about where Chase Garnham is playing and why he’s been under the radar:

Garnham is a natural weakside linebacker. He’s by far the fastest linebacker on the team, having been clocked at a sub-4.4 40. While reporters and sports information staffers don’t talk about the specific linebacker positions (and maybe don’t even know what they are), their reports that Garnham looks good in pursuit and chasing plays from the backside would indicate that he’s playing will backer.

Despite his speed, Garnham was not exactly a blue-chip prospect. He had no other offers from conferences with automatic BCS bowl bids, and his other major offers were from Southern Miss and UAB. Clearly, he was prepared to go to a smaller division, having garnered offers from Eastern Kentucky, Furman, Gardner-Webb, Samford and the Citadel.

That said, he’s a terrific prospect for Vanderbilt, which specializes in grabbing underappreciated kids and turning them into SEC all-stars.

By contrast, redshirt sophomores Tristan Strong (6-1, 230) and DeAndre Jones (6-1, 235) were much more highly rated recruits and three-star guys. Strong turned down an offer from Auburn, and Jones chose the Commodores over Kentucky, Michigan State and Stanford.

Strong and Jones are competing for the vacant weakside backer position and could also back up Marve in the middle. Neither of them are true weakside backers. They both have short-area quickness but aren’t sideline-to-sideline guys like Garnham.

Three other redshirt sophomores in the mix are Dexter Daniels (6-1, 230), Archibald Barnes (6-4, 220) and Micah Powell (6-0, 215). Daniels and Barnes also have a shot at starting at weakside backer. Barnes is a rangy all-purpose athlete who could easily man up on tight ends and could even challenge senior John Stokes (6-5, 235) for his strongside job. Powell, long listed as a safety, lacks the natural safety skills of the incoming freshmen and is being moved over to the strong side where he has the least chance of becoming a starter but perhaps a better chance of contributing.

Redshirt freshman Blake Southerland is perhaps being groomed to succeed middle linebacker Chris Marve (6-0, 230), an All-American candidate as a junior. Senior Nate Campbell (6-2, 220) provides depth and versatility.

Anyway, back to Garnham, who by the way is 6-2, 215. Of all the Vandy backers, he’s got the most potential at the Will position. But he’s got to learn it first. Sure, guys like Barnes, Powell and Campbell aren’t any bigger, but they do have more experience and know the system. And another 10-15 pounds sure wouldn’t hurt Garnham. That’s why it’s a tossup whether he redshirts or not. If he plays right away, it’ll be mostly on special teams where he’ll be one of the fastest guys on the field.


Anonymous said...

http://yourseason.suntimes.com/football/2634342,082410-jake-bernstein-crystal-lake-south-football.article OT Jake Bernstein commits to Vanderbilt


Yeah, busy day at work (my real job) but I'll have some comments on it later. Thx.

Anonymous said...

Did some checking on Chase Garnham Sparq score at Nike Combine in Mobile was 108.ESPN shows him one of four OLB in the nation with sub 4.4 times two of the players did not qualify. Warren Belin saw it right off the bat.He is easily the best LB we have signed since Marve. Look check out www.couchscout.com based stats on on his ability is rated 7 best OLB in class of 2014 draft class (some guy that has a lot of time on his hands). He has the grades and the ability to be successful at Vanderbilt.Our best postion coach (Warrem Belin) at the time saw the raw ability of this guy. Georgia saw Belin's value. There is a coaching staff in place that really knows what their doing.My point is get behind this team. They work in a enviroment that no other coaching staff or players in the nation has to deal with. This staff and team need all the support we can give them. Take down that crap about one bowl win every 53 years they do not deserve that bullshit.


I suppose you'd like me to change the name of the site too. Look, mentioning our losing history accentuates the fact that our coaches and players are talented, smart and industrious, and they have to be, because as you say they work in an environment that no one else in the nation has to deal with. Don't confuse self-effacement and irony with a lack of support. We'll take down that "crap" when they win a bowl this season. Part of what will make us dangerous this season is our undeniably awful conference record in modern times and the fact that nobody's picking us to win more than two games this season. In the meantime, you'll notice that we are excited about this team, but we think the real progress record-wise is going to come in one or two years, and that we're building a great foundation.

Anonymous said...

Way to go on standing your ground on your slight irony to the program. The name of your sire and "bowl game every 53 years" is only a tribute to you being their #1 fan who would like to expect more out of the program. This person obviously doesn't know your strong allegiance to the Commodores. Hold your ground Dimon, our coaches and players should be aware of their fans expectations. Go Dores!


Thanks a lot. I do have high expectations but of course also understand that we're a huge underdog and that success for Vandy isn't the same thing as success for, say, Florida.

Anonymous said...

You right about the two years. But attitude's of the fan base have to change now. Our ability to attract top quality students depends on it.Most 18 year olds don't understand that 10 years from now there degree will be the launching pad to a better life.The father of the TE from Birmingham that decommited, and and went to Stanford said it best. "it wasn't the losses or the coaching staff it was attitude of the fan base, fall Saturday's in Nashville will suck".End result was he got on a plane and went to Northern California. Look I understand your pragmatic view of our chances this fall but you and "your fans" shouldn't confuss that with loyalty to the program.Dimon make a statement; Moral Victory is alright ditch the "witty" tag line.Here is a constructive idea let's find a way to put butts in the seats?? Attended 48 games and your the number one fan? lordy we got some work to do.