On Thursday evening, the chain link fence surrounding the football practice field was covered in black plastic, but the gates were open to welcome Vanderbilt fans eager to get an early peek at the 2004 Commodores.
As fans begin to gather before the official start of practice, their first glimpse of the field reveals that the team is already on the field.
When practice officially begins, the team gathers for calisthenics and warm-ups. (That's Patrick Johnson and Jay Cutler out front.)
Then it's time to stretch, each player paired with a partner. The stretching is strenuous... it takes a good 15 minutes, and is said by some of the newcomers to be one of the toughest things to adjust to.
When stretching is finished, the entire team brings it in for a huge huddle. Then they separate into seven units around the practice fields, including...
...defensive line (that's Ralph McKenzie, with Coach David Turner looking on at left)...
...and defensive backs (Lorenzo Parker and Dominique Morris).
The offense is on the other side of the field, wearing the black jerseys today.
Coach Bobby Johnson makes the rounds between the various units.
Hit it! The defensive linemen take turns hitting the deck on the artificial surface.
Larry Leathers, who heads up media relations for football, talks with Brian Reese, the sports operations director responsible for football. They are part of the large support staff that helps insure everything at practice runs smoothly.
Jonathan Goff (47) and Kevin Joyce (40) go through drills with the linebackers.
High on the towers, the staff video cameras roll, ensuring that there will be plenty of film for the coaches to break down after practice.