Monday, February 28, 2011

Sizing up the playing rotation: Which Vanderbilt Commodores are in the battle to see big-game action

Instead of depth charts, we've been thinking about playing rotations. Which players are going to get on the field during tight games? Let's go position by position to see how we think playing rotations will evolve from post-spring/pre-season to mid-season.

A bunch of guys are possibilities on offense and defense. Of last season's emergency running backs, we believe Eric Samuels will return to defensive back and Micah Powell stay on offense.

Of the true freshmen athletes, we think Derrick King and Jahmel McIntosh will head to the secondary and Jacquese Kirk will get a shot at receiver. Of the tight ends, Dillon van der Wal seems like too big a target not to play tight end, while Darien Bryant looks to us like a linebacker or defensive end. Joe Townsend should gravitate to the defensive side of the ball.

OK, here goes with the playing rotation (starters denoted by astericks):

Pre-season (after spring practice): R-SR Larry Smith*, R-SO Charlie Goro (running/goal line)
Opening game: R-JR Jordan Rodgers*, Smith (running/goal line)
Mid-season (not accounting for injuries): Rodgers*, FR Lafonte Thourogood (running/goal line)

Pre-season: JR Warren Norman*, JR Zac Stacy*, R-SO Wesley Tate
Opening game: Norman*, Stacy*, FR Jerrod Seymour
Mid-season: Norman*, Seymour*, Stacy

Pre-season: SO Jonathan Krause*, SO Jordan Matthews*, R-JR John Cole*, R-FR Chris Boyd, R-SR Udom Umoh
Opening game: Krause*, Matthews*, Boyd*, Cole, Umoh
Mid-season: Krause*, Matthews*, Boyd*, FR Jacquese Kirk, Cole

Pre-season: R-SR Brandon Barden*, R-SO Mason Johnston, R-FR Blake Gowder, SO Fitz Lassing*
Opening game: Barden*, FR Dillon van der Wal, Johnston, Lassing*
Mid-season: Barden*, van der Wal, Johnston, Lassing*

Pre-season: R-SO Wesley Johnson*, R-SR Kyle Fischer*, R-JR Ryan Seymour*, SO Logan Stewart*, R-JR Jabo Burrow*, R-JR Caleb Welchans, R-SO Mylon Brown
Opening game: Johnson*, Fischer*, Seymour*, Stewart*, Burrow*, Welchans, Brown
Mid-season: Johnson*, Fischer*, Seymour*, Stewart*, Burrow*, FR James Lewis, FR Jake Bernstein

Pre-season: R-SR T.J. Greenstone*, R-JR Rob Lohr*, R-JR Colt Nichter, SO Jared Morse, R-SR Tim Fugger*, R-SO Walker May*, R-JR Johnell Thomas
Opening game: Greenstone*, Lohr*, Morse, FR Vince Taylor, Fugger*, May*, R-FR Kyle Woestmann, R-FR Thomas Ryan
Mid-season: Greenstone*, Taylor*, Lohr, Morse, May*, Woestmann*, Ryan, Fugger

Pre-season: R-SR Chris Marve*, R-JR Archie Barnes*, R-JR Tristan Strong*, SO Chase Garnham, R-JR DeAndre Jones
Opening game: Marve*, Barnes*, Strong*, Garnham, Jones
Mid-season: Marve*, Barnes*, Strong*, Garnham, SO Karl Butler, FR Jimmy Stewart

Pre-season: SR Casey Hayward*, JR Eddie Foster*, SO Andre Hal*, JR Eric Samuels, JR Trey Wilson, SR Sean Richardson*, SO Kenny Ladler*, R-SO Jay Fullam, SO Andre Simmons
Opening game: Hayward*, Foster*, Hal*, Samuels, FR Derrick King, Richardson*, Ladler*, Fullam, Simmons
Mid-season: Hayward*, Foster*, Hal*, Samuels, King, Richardson*, Ladler*, Simmons, FR Larry Franklin

Pre-season: R-JR Ryan Fowler*, SO Carey Spear (kickoffs), R-JR Richard Kent*
Opening game: Fowler*, Spear, Kent*
Mid-season: Spear*, Kent*

Here are some other players not mentioned above who could battle their way into the playing rotation at some point during the season:
• FR Josh Grady, QB/WR
• FR Mitchell Hester, RB
• R-SO Mark Panu, FB
• R-FR Trent Pruitt, WR
• R-SR Austin Monahan, TE
• FR Steven Scheu, TE
• R-FR Andrew Bridges, OT
• R-FR Grant Ramsay, OG
• FR Barron Dixon, DT-DE
• FR Darrien Bryant, LB
• R-JR Dexter Daniels, LB
• R-SO Blake Southerland, LB
• R-SO Javon Marshall, DB
• SO Steven Clarke, DB
• FR Jahmel McIntosh, DB


Anonymous said...

Great post Dimon. If we can avoid major injuries, it looks like we are loaded with young talent especially on defense.


You're right, we are loaded, at least by our standards. It'll be interesting to see what we do with Eric Samuels, a talented defensive back who was more highly rated as a high school running back than Norman and Stacy.