Freshman class includes two invited walk-ons

Among the freshman football players reporting to the Vanderbilt campus last Sunday and taking part in fall practices were two invited walk-on players.

The two players are Eric Saling, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound quarterback / safety prospect from St. Xavier High School in Louisville, Kentucky; and Matt Weiss, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound punter from Cheshire, Connecticut.

Saling was an option quarterback at St. Xavier, which went 25-3 in the two years in which Saling started at quarterback.  In 1999 he led the Tigers to the AAAA state championship in Kentucky, and in 2000 he led his team to the state semifinals.

Saling's team overpowered opponents so convincingly that Saling was often removed by the second half, according to St. Xavier coach Mike Glaser.  "Eric never had a chance to roll up big numbers because of the way we played him," Glaser said.  "But the big thing I like about Eric is 25-3."

Of his ability to run the option, Glaser said "I don't think we've ever had one better."  Glaser added that Saling had the speed and size to play a number of other positions, including linebacker, defensive back and tight end.

Weiss, who is being looked at as a backup punter to senior Joe Webb, played in high school for the Hopkins School in New Haven, Conn., the fifth-oldest educational institution in America. Top Stories