Butler: Vandy has SEC Championship mindset

Adam Butler, a sophomore defensive lineman from Duncanville, Texas was recruited by Vanderbilt as an offensive lineman. He moved over to the other side of the line for the first time in his playing career and finished the 2013 season with six starts, 25 tackles, and six tackles of loss. He spoke about the coaching transition at Vanderbilt and the new 3-4 defensive formation being implemented.

"I have a lot of respect for Coach Franklin," Butler said. "I'll always be thankful for the opportunity he gave me at Vanderbilt. He talked to us before he left and said that Pennsylvania has always been home for him.

"We've moved on as a team and we're excited about playing for Coach Mason. I knew about what he was able to accomplish at Stanford like shutting down Oregon, one of the most exciting offensive teams in college football. When he came in he laid it down for us. He cut right to the chase and said he was coming in to win an SEC championship. He put us in that mindset since Day One. Guys are now visualizing that and want to make themselves better to reach that goal.

"The 3-4 defense is a great fit because we have a lot of athletic guys who it's going to benefit. I think the outside linebackers like Kyle Woestmann, Caleb Azubike, Jonathan Wynn, and Landon Stokes will make the transition easily and flourish in the system. My job at defensive lineman doesn't change as much. I still need to make stops and put pressure on the quarterback.

"It's been exciting watching the quarterback battle unfold. I've seen some great things out of Stephen Rivers. I like him a lot. Johnny McCrary, though, is a big play guy who is capable of making things happen. It's tough competition right now but I think one of those two guys will probably emerge as the opening day starter."

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