Which Vanderbilt freshmen will play?

Today the new Commodores will practice as Vanderbilt players for the first time. Look inside to see which of these young players are most likely to see playing time during the 2012 season.

1) Darreon Herring (OLB)- Middle linebacker Chris Marve has moved on to medical school so now the Commodores will be looking for a run stopper. Chase Garnham was moved to the middle spot in the spring so this leaves an outside backer position open. Herring was an early enrollee in the spring and made some great plays during spring drills, flying to the ball and making things happen for the defense. Look for him to see significant playing time and possibly start.

2) Colby Cooke (K)- Kicker is one position that freshmen frequently are able to step in and make an impact. Cooke was the last player added to the 2012 class. It was initially planned that he would greyshirt and enter Vanderbilt in 2013 but a scholarship later opened up and Cooke was added to the 2012 crop. A Parade All-American in high school, Cooke kicked without a tee and was able to make 17-of-21 field goals. A successful kicker under pressure, Cooke made two field goals of 48 and 51 yards in the Virginia state championship game. Vanderbilt's longest field goal made during the 2011 season was 37 yards. Ryan Fowler and Carey Spear could be in for a tough battle to kick field goals in 2012.

3) Brian Kimbrow (RB)- Speed kills and Brian Kimbrow is blessed with the 4.3 version. Kimbrow rushed over 4500 yards during his high school career in Memphis and every major recruiting service rated him 4-stars. Even with Zac Stacy and Warren Norman coming back, you've got to think that Kimbrow will get quality playing time.

4) Andrew Jelks (OL)- Vanderbilt signed six quality offensive linemen in the 2012 recruiting class and Jelks was considered the top player in the bunch. Jelks was heavily recruited and turned down the likes of Alabama, Tennessee, Stanford and Missouri to be a Commodore. Although Jelks (6-6, 275) needs to get bigger, he's already as big as Andrew Bridges who is listed as the starting right tackle in the 2012 Vanderbilt fact book. Vanderbilt needs one or two freshmen offensive lineman to step up and contribute in 2012 and Jelks is a very good candidate to be one of them.

5) Adam Butler (OL)- Butler seems like a good prospect to also make an impact on the offensive line. A very athletic player, he blocked eight field goals as a senior in high school. At 6-foot-4, 285 pounds he is size ready. Butler is a high character player who was twice selected as team captain while playing at Duncanville high school in Texas.

6) Caleb Azubike (DE)- Tim Fugger is now with the Packers so Vanderbilt is looking for a new starter at defensive end. At defensive end Azubike is a tackling machine who had 17 tackles in the Tennessee East-West All-Star game. He had 10 sacks as a senior at McGavock high school in Nashville. Azubike (6-4, 245) appears to have the size, strength, intensity and speed to compete in the SEC as a freshman.

7) Cory Batey (WR)- Even with the return of John Cole, Vanderbilt needs to find another playmaker at wide receiver and Batey looks like he can fill that need. Batey, who caught 42 passes last season at Ensworth high school in Nashville, has good size and outstanding speed. He can make catches on deep routes which is something Vanderbilt needs.

Others to watch:

Barrett Gouger (OL)- Another lineman with the size and ability to play as a freshman. Blake Fromang (OL)- Huge Florida lineman could slip into lineup.

Paris Head (DB)- With the loss of Casey Hayward and Sean Richardson, Head might see playing time in a backup role.

Patton Robinette (QB)- Robinette was an early enrollee. He will be the third string quarterback and could very well see action as a freshman.

Jacob Sealand (LB)- Sealand is a motor player linebacker who had a ton of offers from BCS schools.

Tip McKenzie (ATH)- McKenzie did a little of everything in high school and did it well. He could end up anywhere in the offensive, defensive backfields or on special teams.

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