Weekend practice update

John Rich Practice Facility on campus – The Commodores went through a lengthy non-tackling practice Sunday one day after the defense appeared to get the best of its counterpart in a scrimmage.

The Commodores spent much of the practice Sunday working on team teaching, one-on-one drills and special teams, then closed the session with several periods of 11-on-11 work.


With Sunday's two-hour, 30-minute session in the books, the Commodores have completed more than half of their 15 spring practices. The squad will take Monday off, and return to the practice field Tuesday to begin their preparation for the featured Black & Gold Scrimmage scheduled Saturday, April 1, in Vanderbilt Stadium.


Saturday Scrimmage Highlights


For the first time this spring, players on one side of the line of scrimmage appeared to get the best of the other during a one-hour scrimmage staged Saturday. Aggressive and opportunistic, the Commodore defense controlled the scrimmage, limiting the offense to a lone touchdown in 13 possessions. The defense also benefited from several miscues by an offense that played much of the scrimmage with top tailbacks Cassen Jackson-Garrison and Jared Hawkins seeing limited duty.


Early in the scrimmage, a sack by senior end Chris Booker, and punishing tackles by junior linebacker Jonathan Goff, redshirt freshman linebacker Brandon Bryant and redshirt freshman linebacker Chris Johnson helped stop three straight possessions that started with first downs generated by the offense.


As the scrimmage progressed, the defense led by junior tackle Gabe Hall and junior linebacker Marcus Buggs stiffened. During a seven-possession span, the defense limited the offense to three plays on four occasions, concluding the stretch by recovering a fumble forced by redshirt freshman linebacker Quavian Lewis.


After redshirt freshman quarterback MacKenzi Adams guided the lone touchdown drive by hitting passes to redshirt freshmen Thomas Welch and Justin Wheeler, the defense again responded, getting quarterback sacks by Buggs and redshirt freshman end Steven Stone to end the final two series.


Numerous Area Prep Coaches Watch Saturday Practice


Thirty-five prep coaches, representing high schools from five states, watched the scrimmage as invited guests of the Commodore staff. Each participated in the first high school coaching clinic organized by Bobby Johnson's staff.


During the two-day activity, the prep coaches heard from several speakers, including Philadelphia Eagles' secondary coach Sean McDermott and Marty Galbraith, Tennessee Titans' assistant special teams coach and offensive assistant, and John Sisk, director of speed, strength and conditioning for the Commodores.

Photo by Stan Jones.

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