Vanderbilt Concludes First Week of Practice

Vanderbilt continues spring practice on Saturday morning by holding practice at Vanderbilt stadium. Saturday's practice consisted of long scrimmages pitting the offense against the defense in full pads for the first time this spring. NOTE: Video interviews with James Franklin, Zac Stacy and Kris Kentera added.

With recruits, families and fans in attendance, the Vanderbilt football team practiced at Vanderbilt Stadium on Saturday morning for the first time this spring. Saturday marked the end of the first full week of practice and the first time the team has gone through extended scrimmage periods.

Coach James Franklin has kept a high level of intensity throughout the first week of practice, and Saturday morning's practice was no different. He did not hesitate to tear into players that he did not feel were giving their best effort. At one point at the beginning of the scrimmage period, Franklin ran across the field to scream at a referee who prematurely blew his whistle. While there is still plenty for Vanderbilt to improve upon, Franklin likes what he has seen from the Commodores this spring.

"We're light years ahead of where we were last year because we're so much more confident with what we're doing, from an installation standpoint," Franklin said. "We still have a long way to go and we still have major depth issues that affect how we practice."

Yet again, redshirt freshman Kris Kentera had a very impressive practice on Saturday, catching multiple long downfield passes. Towards the end of the scrimmage portion of practice, Kentera caught a ten-yard pass and turned the ball upfield for a forty-yard gain. He showed consistent hands and enough speed to break away from most of the defense.

"Kris Kentera—the move we've made moving him to the slot—he has the chance to be something special for us," Franklin said. "It really seems natural and he's making a bunch of plays. I'm excited for him."

Apart from Kentera, redshirt freshman tight end Steven Scheu made multiple athletic plays during Saturday's practice. Scheu was penalized for prematurely jumping off the line of scrimmage multiple times during the scrimmage and will need to work on snap counts during the offseason.

The special teams unit worked on field goals during practice, with Ryan Fowler and Carey Spear connecting on five of eight field goals attempted. No field goals attempted were longer than 40 yards. Franklin patrolled the backfield during this portion of practice, screaming at the holders and kickers, trying to get into their head. At the end of practice, the entire team had to run across the field three times, once for each missed field goal.

The Commodores will return to the practice field on Tuesday for practice No. 6 of the spring practice period. All practice sessions are open to the public.


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