Quick Look At the 2011 Commodores

Recruiting exploits by new head coach James Franklin and his staff have captivated Vanderbilt fans since February. However, it's time to play some football. Here's a quick look at where the Commodores stand for the 2011 season.

The Vanderbilt Commodores

Last season's record: 2-10

Returning starters/letterwinners: 22/51

Key losses:

John Stokes LB – 3-year starter had 78 tackles including 6 for losses.

Nate Campbell LB – 27 tackles including 4 1/2 for losses. 1 forced fumble.

Joey Bailey C – Veteran lineman was team co-captain in 2010.

Key returnees:

Chris Marve MLB – A four-year starter and All-SEC selection.

Brandon Barden TE – Caught 91 career passes.

Casey Hayward CB – Intercepted 6 passes in 2010.

Best game:

Oct. 15 vs. Georgia at Vanderbilt Stadium.

Projected finish: 4-8

A bevy of returning starters coupled with the arrival of innovative new head coach James Franklin will spell improvement for Vanderbilt. The days of punting at the opponent's 35-yard line are long over. The Commodores were inundated with injuries to key players last season and will likely fair better in that department this season. Vanderbilt will show significant improvement in 2011 and then begin to contend for bowl bids in ensuing seasons as the excellent recruiting pays dividends.

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