2006 VU position overview: Offensive line

A big, tough offensive line is one of most vital segments of any football team, pee wee to pro. Vanderbilt's O-line could be one of the best in years for the Commodores. Today VandyMania gives you a breakdown of the Vanderbilt offensive line.

LOSSES

Ryan King, Trey Holloway, Nigel Seaman

THE MEN

Chris Williams (6-6, 315 JR): One of Vanderbilt's top offensive linemen. Finished spring drills as the starting left offensive tackle. Had 9 starts during 2005 season at left guard. Has added over 60 pounds of muscle since his freshman year.
Josh Eames (6-5, 305 JR): Very steady player was will start at one of the guard positions. Had nine starts at right guard during the 2005 season but should play left guard this season.
Merritt Kirchoffer (6-6, 315 JR): Kirchoffer finished spring drills as a starting right offensive guard. He has seen significant action throughout his career and played well.
Hamilton Holliday (6-4, 295 JR): Listed as the starting center after spring drills. During 2005 saw action in a backup role. Blocked well in the Tennessee game and was on the field when Vandy took the lead in the fourth quarter.
Brian Stamper (6-5, 305 SR): Starting right tackle. A great leader and strong player who started all 11 games at right tackle. Earned All-SEC honors. Outland Trophy candidate. Regular starter since his freshman year.
Elliot Hood (6-5, 300 JR): Saw action in a backup role and is expected to see increased action in the future. Slated to backup right tackle Brian Stamper.
Mac Pyle (6-4, 320 SR): Veteran lineman who was injured in second game of 2005. If he's physically able to play in 2006 he could be a factor at any offensive line position.

Ryan Custer (6-4, 295 FR*): Finished spring drills as the #2 right guard behind Merritt Kirchoffer. Redshirted during the 2005 season. During prep career named to the First Team All-Dayton Area Team and All-Southwest Ohio District Team as a defensive lineman
Drew Gardner (6-5, 300 FR*): Will back up Josh Eames at left guard. Redshirted during the 2005 season. As a senior in high school, earned 93 percent blocking grade while posting 65 knockdown blocks.
Eric Hensley (6-7, 290 FR*): Finished spring drills as the #2 left tackle behind Chris Williams. Redshirted during the 2005 season. As a senior in high school he was named to Knoxville News Sentinel's First Team PrepXtra team. Three year starter on defensive line. Should see significant playing time in the fall along with several other redshirt freshmen.
Ryan Vance (6-3, 285 FR*): Slated for duty at center. If needed, could see action at a different position. Redshirted during the 2005 season. Bench presses over 425 pounds.
Bradley Vierling (6-4, 290 FR*): Finished spring drills as the #2 center behind Hamilton Holliday. Redshirted during the 2005 season. As a prep senior, named Second Team All-State and First Team All Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Nick Miller (6-2, 275 FR*): Walk on who will help provide depth.

Steve Sullivan (6-0, 285 FR*): Walk on who will help provide depth.

THE FUTURE

Joey Bailey (6-4, 240 FR): Named Second Team All-Metro squad by Birmingham News behind one of nation's top recruits. Has performed well in preseason despite his light weight. Will very likely be redshirted for 2006.

Drew Brenk (6-5, 290 FR): First Team All-Area selection, two-time All-District pick. Has the body frame to be a great college lineman. Brenk showed up at Vanderbilt with the build of a veteran college lineman.

Reilly Lauer (6-7, 245 FR): During senior season had 71 tackles, including 30 primary stops, five quarterback sacks. Earned All-County honors. Lauer also has a super frame and good quickness. Lauer will likely redshirt this season and add some weight and strength.

REMARKS

This could be one of the strongest Vanderbilt lines in 25 years. Stamper, Williams, Eames and Kirchoffer would likely see significant action at any SEC school. This position, like other Vanderbilt positions, has some talented incoming freshmen as well.

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