Vanderbilt Bye Week Notes

With the Commodores on a bye week it is time for the players and staff to rest and recharge their batteries for the stretch run to come. With that said here are a few items of note from this week.

Home Cooking for Franklin

James Franklin spent some time in Alabama at the back end of last week, and it wasn't just the lure of a home cooked meal that had coach back in his home state. Franklin has quickly developed Alabama as a pipeline state into the Vandy program and he spent some of his mini vacation checking out future Commodore prospects. Though by NCAA rules Franklin is unable to comment on who he was visiting Vandy fans can rest assured that their head coach is constantly on the recruiting trail in a bid to cement current commits and sway any still out there in limbo.

Opinion - Franklin is fully aware that success for Vanderbilt is not going to be built overnight and it is refreshing to see a coach using as much time as he does striving to pick up future Commodores. Though the bulk of the talent will still head to Alabama or Auburn, Alabama is a football rich state and even the second and third tier prospects can still become high level contributors. Current Commodores from the Yellowhammer State include Zac Stacy, Jordan Matthews, and leading tackler Chase Garnham. With talent like that it is easy to see why Franklin continues to recruit the state extensively.

Reps All Around

One of the positives of a bye week for a coach is the ability to allow key players to rest and heal up any minor knocks while getting reps for the reserves. This Monday through Wednesday Vandy held a series of practices in which some backups saw the field more than they have the rest of the season combined. The coaching staff has been fairly coy on the topic of anyone breaking through into the starting lineup at this point of the season, but the staff has shown a willingness to experiment with the team and give anyone who is standing out in practice a chance to shine on Saturdays.

Opinion - The bye week has come at a great time for Vanderbilt. There are a few starters who will have extra time to heal, but just as importantly the week off has allowed for practice to be shaken up. In any team sport there is a worry that practice will fall into nothing more than a routine where guys are going through the motions rather than making themselves better, so when there is a chance to throw a change-up it has to be taken. If Vandy gets one extra contributing body because of switches this week in practice then it is worth it. Even if that doesn't happen then hopefully the starters will return on Monday with a new mental and physical focus for the challenges that remain in 2012. Top Stories