Key Vanderbilt position battles

As with the start of every fall there are holes to fill on the Commodore football team. Be it through graduation, or through the backups getting better, the Vanderbilt coaching staff will have a number of positions to judge over the next couple of weeks. Here are three they will be paying special attention to.

Cornerback: Trey Wilson vs Andre Hal vs Steven Clarke vs Derek King vs Eddie Foster

The most obvious position battle on the team in 2012 is that of cornerback. With Casey Hayward now a Green Bay Packer the Commodores HAVE to find a replacement that is both as steady and explosive as Hayward became in Nashville. Trey Wilson will get the first crack at that number one corner spot after showing potential last year with three picks, two of which he returned for scores. Behind Wilson there is a lot of talent, but a lot of questions. Any one of Hal, Clarke, King, and Foster could potentially find enough separation in camp to start at the opposite corner against the Gamecocks.

Number Three Wide Receiver: Wesley Tate vs. Jonathan Krause vs. Josh Grady

For the Vandy offense to be as potent as possible in 2012 the team is going to need three explosive wideouts who can stretch the field. With Jordan Matthews and Chris Boyd having locked down two of the starting spots the battle is on for that slot receiver position. The three options all offer different skill sets, but all are capable of making the position their own. Tate is a former running back who is explosive in the open field, Grady a former dual threat quarterback who may be best used as a hybrid wildcat player, while Krause has the most receiving experience. Whoever gets the nod will play a huge role if the Commodores are to meet preseason expectations.

Center: Spencer Pulley vs Joe Townsend

It is sophomore vs sophomore to claim the only real spot left on Vanderbilt's hugely upgraded offensive line. Both players saw limited action last year, but whomever wins the job will be expected to contribute to an offensive line which has vast experience in the other spots. With Zac Stacy looking to have another monster year, and with Warren Norman healthy and back in the picture, either Pulley or Townsend can expect to be in the thick of the action this fall.

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