Which Players Broke Out This Spring and Could Be Set For a Big 2017 Season

As we continue along in our Spring Notebook Series, DoresDaily looks at which players had big camp performances and could be poised to bust out during the upcoming football season and become household names somewhere in the near future. Multiple players could of been chosen but here are the top five players who broke out during spring camp.

(No Particular Order)


- Playing as a tre freshman last season, Williams was thrown into the fire and has some struggles early but felt more and more comfortable by season's end. Heading into the 2017 season, Williams was already envisioned as someone who would take over the starting corner back role departed by Torren McGaster and those thoughts have not changed one bit. If anything, expectations have grown for Williams after standing out during spring camp and displaying the talents that warranted a 4-star status coming out of high school. Williams has everything you want in a starting corner from size, speed, smarts and athleticism. If he continues to work hard in the off-season ahead, Williams could play his way into All-SEC status by the end of the year. 


- The Commodores depth at the running back position got even deeper this spring when Wakefield became the talk of camp and showed his ability to eventually become the featured guy in Vanderbilt's backfield. Wakefield is a big, physical bruiser who displayed surprising speed and agility in the open field during spring camp. His vision in the hole was excellent and his ability to find the end zone on a consistent basis, was even more impressive. Coming his red-shirt freshman season, Wakefield had the chance to sit and watch Vanderbilt's all time leading rusher Ralph Webb do his thing and see what it takes to be a featured back in the SEC. The future looks bright for Wakefield but he will still have to wait for his time to shine. The Dores backfield is deep but if Wakefield can continue his play during fall camp, carries could be there for the taking. 


- Two positions along the Commodores offensive line are up for grabs and one of those spots is at center. Vanderbilt must replace Barrett Gouger, who was a mainstay on the Dores O-line over the last three years. It will not be easy to find his replacement but red-shirt freshman Auwae-McMoore looks like he wants that spot and is poised to grab it headed into fall camp. Auwae-McMoore had an impressive spring camp where he displayed his ability to call the plays from the line on top of handling the interior pass rush from the Dores defensive line. Auwae-McMoore is a highly intelligent young man that has the size and athleticism to handle SEC interior defensive lineman while continuing his development as a football player. Auwae-McMoore is better prepared right now to stop the run but is closer than you think at handling the pass rush as well. A battle for center will continue in fall camp but Auwae-McMoore might have done enough this spring to be considered the lead candidate for the starting role. 


- Tennyson was one of a handful of true freshman to see the field last season. He was able to gain a taste of what it's like on the college gridiron but didn't really receive a full boat of chances at displaying his talents. This season should be much different for Tennyson. During spring practice, Tennyson was already being groomed to take over the role departed by Darrius Sims. Tennyson is a quick, fast and athletic all-around type of offensive threat that will be used much like Sims was used over the past three years. Tennyson will be the "REVERSE" guy for many years to come but he will also line up in the slot, receiving passes while also gain some carries on occasions from the backfield. Tennyson also has the ability to become a return man as well. His overall skill set is exciting to think about and after playing last season and going through spring practice, look for Tennyson to become the Commodores swiss army knife and be used on a consistent basis. 


- Jones might have been one of the toughest recruits to red-shirt last season but it was the best decision to be made from both parties. Vanderbilt had a deep safety group last year and still does in 2017 but the opportunity at carve out a role for Jones is there to be made. While the Commodores may have their starters in place, Jones stood out this spring as someone who could become a game changer at safety. He has a great ability at finding the ball wherever it is on the field and using his pure athleticism and intelligence to change the game. Jones has such a knack for making plays that he could be used in the nickel role this fall. He will most definitely be on special teams and be a part of the rotation at safety. Depending on how he continues to play during fall camp and how much further his football development is. Jones might be on the field a lot by the end of the 2017 season. 

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