"That was the best practice since I've been here," said Franklin. "(The players were) flying around, fighting through adversity, encouraging one another. It's one thing to say you want to be great, it's another thing to come out and do it. It's a step in the right direction."
Freshman running back Jerron Seymour stood out on Friday by making plays coming out of the backfield. The 5-foot-7 back consistently used his quick feet and elusiveness to cut through holes around the edge. Seymour will look to break into the rotation in a deep stable of talented running backs.
"He's got a tremendous burst," said Franklin of Seymour. "He can accelerate and change directions well. I think everyone has been impressed with him so far."
Among the more experienced backs, Zac Stacy had the most consistent success in making strong cuts and getting the ball upfield. If the unit can avoid the injuries that plagued them towards the end of the last season, the running backs could be one of the strongest units on the team.
Jonathan Krause, John Cole, Zac Stacy, and freshman Jacquese Kirk all briefly practiced catching punts and could all be candidates to return punts and kicks this season. None of the group dropped a punt throughout that session of Saturday's practice.
Junior defensive back Eddie Foster made two impressive interceptions during practice, the only two interceptions of the day. Besides Foster, senior safety Sean Richardson also made multiple impressive cuts to the ball. Defensive tackle Rob Lohr showed surprising quickness by batting down a Larry Smith pass across the middle during a scrimmage towards the end of practice.
Offensive linemen Logan Stewart and James Lewis, defensive ends Walker May and Johnell Thomas, and wide receiver Brady Brown were all sidelined on Saturday with injuries. In addition, wide receiver Chris Boyd left the field with cramps near the end of practice. It is the coaching staff's policy to not discuss injuries with the media throughout preseason camp.
The football program will host the annual Dore Jam event on Sunday afternoon from 4-6 at the John Rich Practice Facility. The event is free and open to the public and will allow fans to interact with Coach Franklin and Vanderbilt football players.