Saturday, August 28, 2010

Here's what Vanderbilt's opening day depth chart could look like

With the opening day depth chart to be released any day now, we decided to take a shot at what it’ll look like — and as Coach Caldwell promised, he’s considering a whole bunch of true freshmen:

1st team: Larry Smith (R-Jr) has improved his understanding of the offense and his leadership
2nd team: Jared Funk (R-Sr) “won’t go away” according to coaches
Others: Jordan Rodgers (Jr) appears headed for redshirt unless Smith is injured or struggled; Charlie Goro (R-Fr) is still learning the system but could play in special situations

1st team: Zac Stacy (So) has returned to practice after treating his injured knee with his grandmother’s remedy of vinegar and Alabama red clay
2nd team: Kennard Reeves (R-Sr) has returned from an injured hammy
Others: Wesley Tate (R-Fr) has returned from an injured foot and should be available; Steven Clarke (Fr) has moved over from cornerback and has progressed well enough to cause coaches to consider making him a permanent running back; usual starter and SEC freshman of year Warren Norman (So) just had his knee scoped and has a slim chance of playing against Northwestern; Ryan van Rensburg can block and tote the rock in short situations

1st team: John Cole (R-So) and Udom Umoh (R-Jr) are locks, at least for opening day, and will likely be joined by Jordan Matthews (Fr)
2nd team: Jonathan Krause (Fr) is pushing Matthews; Brady Brown (R-Fr) and Chris Boyd (Fr) are poised to make the 6-man rotation
Others: Coaches are talking about Turner Wimberly (R-Sr) and Tray Herndon (R-Jr) as possibilities to start, and they could make the opening day depth chart, but these upperclassmen probably won’t be counted on in crunch time; Akeem Dunham (R-So) has had a good camp and could crack the rotation; Trent Pruitt (Fr) appears headed for a redshirt

1st team: Brandon Barden (R-Jr) will still start after hyperextending his elbow
2nd team: Ryan van Rensburg (R-Jr) was a steady backup here last year but will also play some running back
Others: Mason Johnston (R-Fr) and Fitz Lassing (Fr) have been getting plenty of reps here and one of them may forge ahead of van Rensburg, who can play a variety of roles; Blake Gowder (Fr) will likely redshirt; Austin Monahan (R-Jr) is out for the year with a wrecked knee

1st team: Joey Bailey (R-Sr) at center; Kyle Fischer (R-Jr) at right guard and Caleb Welchans (R-So) at right tackle; Jabo Burrow (R-So) at left guard and Wesley Johnson (R-Fr) at left tackle
2nd team: James Kittredge (Fr) is pushing Bailey for the starting center position; Ryan Seymour (R-So) has temporarily lost his starting right tackle slot to Welchans because of discipline problems and may not play against Northwestern; Mylon Brown (R-Fr) has awesome physical gifts and narrowly lost the left guard battle to Burrow; Logan Stewart (Fr) has impressed in camp and will be ready to play; Grant Ramsay (Fr) will not be in the 7-man rotation but could be listed second-team
Others: Chase White (Fr) and Andrew Bridges (Fr) will be ready in case of injuries but could otherwise redshirt; Chris Aaron (R-Sr) has an inner-ear problem and may be done; Justin Cabbagestalk (R-Fr) is out for the year with a blown knee

1st team: T.J. Greenstone (R-Jr) and Rob Lohr (R-So)
2nd team: A bit of a mystery, with not a lot of news out of camp. Colt Nichter (R-So), Taylor Loftley (R-So) return, but Vince Taylor (Fr) and Jared Morse (Fr) are coveted recruits who’ve been getting lots of reps in practice; we’ll go with Nichter and Morse for now, but stay tuned; Loftley has reportedly been making a late run and could crack the second team — and in that case, Taylor and Morse could both be redshirted
Others: Josh Jelesky (R-So) is still bulking up after moving from end; Adam Smotherman (R-Sr) blew out his knee in the spring and his date of return is unknown

1st team: Tim Fugger (R-Jr), Theron Kadri (Sr) and Teriall Brannon (R-Sr) form a 3-man rotation, with Fugger and probably Kadri getting the start
2nd team: Brannon, plus sack specialist Walker May (R-Fr)
Others: Johnell Thomas (R-So) is a solid player who’ll get on the field in big games; Thad McHaney (R-Fr) was a coveted recruit who’s battling May for playing time; Kyle Woestmann (Fr) and Thomas Ryan (Fr) appear headed for redshirts

1st team: Chris Marve (R-Jr) is of course a fixture in the middle; John Stokes (Sr) will knock some heads before becoming a physician; the versatile athlete Archibald Barnes (R-So) could get the nod at the other OLB position
2nd team: DeAndre Jones (R-So), Tristan Strong (R-So) and Dexter Daniels (R-So) continue to battle each other for playing time; Jones could back Marve in the middle with the other two guys on the outside
Others: Micah Powell (R-So) is adjusting well to his move from safety and could unseat some of his fellow sophomores; Nate Campbell (R-Sr) has struggled with injury and hasn’t challenged for a starting position as expected after returning from a year off; Blake Southerland (R-Fr) is being groomed to man the middle in the future; Chase Garnham (Fr) has blazing speed and could play as a true freshman, especially on special teams; Andrew East (Fr) will redshirt unless he is needed as a longsnapper

1st team: Casey Hayward (Jr) and Jamie Graham (R-Jr) at cornerback; Sean Richardson (Jr) at strong safety and Jay Fullam (R-Fr) at free; Trey Wilson (So) at nickel
2nd team: Eddie Foster (So) and Andre Hal (Fr) at corner, and Eric Samuels (So) at nickel/corner; Andre Simmons (Fr) at strong safety and Kenny Ladler (Fr) at free
Others: Karl Butler (Fr) has established himself as the hardest hitter on the team and will see some time at safety and on special teams; Steven Clarke (Fr) has been impressive at corner but has moved to running back, perhaps temporarily; Al Owens (R-So) appears to have been unseated by Simmons as the backup strong safety; Javon Marshall (R-Fr) has struggled some with injuries and challenges from the true freshmen

1st team: Ryan Fowler (R-So) field goals; Carey Spear (Fr) kickoffs; David Giller (R-Jr) snapper; Richard Kent (R-So) punter and holder
2nd team: Spear, field goals; Fowler, kickoffs; John Stokes (Sr) snapper; Fowler, punter; Jared Funk (R-Sr) holder

1st team: Andre Hal (Fr), kicks; John Cole (R-So), punts
2nd team: Trey Wilson (So), kicks; Zac Stacy (So), punts
Others: Warren Norman (So) will of course return kicks when he recovers from his knee injury; Eric Samuels (So) can also return kicks

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