Vanderbilt football coach Bobby Johnson was on hand to greet the players and parents as they moved in. Assistant coaches Warren Belin, Ted Cain, Robbie Caldwell, Kenny Carter, and Bruce Fowler were on hand to provide help as well.
Craig Funk, father of quarterback Jared, watched as his youngest of four children made his wife and him empty nesters. "Things have changed a lot since I went to college," the elder Funk said. "It was frightening because I was just dropped off at the door by my mother, and I saw her four years later."
For Jared Funk, the adjustment to college wasn't that difficult. "I have been here over the summer. It was a little different the first week, and then I adjusted to it. I think I will be fine."
Where Funk will need to adjust is on the field. "I participated in a couple of seven-on-sevens (a passing drill with a center, quarterback, and the five eligible receivers going against a defense of three linebackers and four defensive backs), and the defense was faster and closed a little quicker. I will need to work a little harder in college than I did in high school."
The increased knowledge needed to master a college playbook is another adjustment to be made. "The playbook is quite a lot bigger, probably seven different types of offenses. There are more defenses to face with more reading. There's a lot more I'm going to need to learn, that's for sure."
Adam Smotherman, the reigning Class 5A Tennessee Mr. Football Lineman of the Year Award Winner from Smyrna has wanted to come to Vanderbilt since the recruiting process started. "It's been something I've been looking forward to since March of my junior year."
Greg "Tank" Billinger was excited to move into his dorm. "I feel really good about it (moving in); I've been here for a month, so I'm fairly accustomed to Vanderbilt's campus. For Billinger, the academic course load is going to be heavy. "I'm going to major in mechanical engineering."
The rest of the team reports to Branscomb Thursday afternoon; the team will have its first practice, Friday evening at 6:00 PM.
Baskets, bags, bundles . . . and TV cameras
Coach Johnson talks to the media . . .
. . . and to parents and family.
Jared Funk and parents
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Photos copyright 2006 by Whitney D for VandyMania.com