Second practice a search for leadership

Vanderbilt's second session of spring practice on Saturday afternoon closely resembled its first the day before.

Head Coach James Franklin pushed his team to be thorough in its execution of each drill, sending players to the sidelines and substituting frequently when he didn't like what he saw. Franklin explained the effort he demands out of his practices to the media on Friday, in more words than the simple "Get me a (quarterback, running back, cornerback) on the field who wants to play!" he would yell from time to time from behind the defensive formation as the situation called for throughout Saturday's practice.

"If they're not running hard, they're being selfish and they're letting the team down, go out," he said. "I got no problem if you go hard five plays and you can't do seven, tap out and get somebody else in there that's fresh. But when you go, you're in there going full speed."

Larry Smith and Charlie Goro handled most of the 11-on-11 drills, as the staff continued to limit Jordan Rodgers' throws as the redshirt junior recovers from surgery. For a large part of practice, the defense stepped up its effort and made several big plays to fluster all three signal-callers along with the rest of the offense.

The play of the day on Saturday on either side of the ball came during 11-on-11 drills. Redshirt freshman linebacker Blake Gowder jumped in front of a short throw by Smith over the middle and took a clean interception 30 yards the other way to the practice field end zone, where he was swarmed by the entire defensive unit as players ran over from the field and sidelines to celebrate.

As it was in Friday's practice, players went through drills and workouts with no pads on. The Commodores have now fulfilled two of the NCAA-required three helmets-only sessions for their spring practice. Franklin indicated on Wednesday that the third helmets-only practice is scheduled for the Friday before the Black & Gold Game on April 17th and will be used as a walk-through for the spring game. Top Stories