QUARTERBACK- Quarterback was somewhat a question mark to start the 2006 season. That won't be the case in 2007. Chris Nickson should be firmly entrenched as the starting quarterback. Nickson completed 54% of his passes in 2006 for over 2,000 yards. He had 15 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions. He was also Vandy's leading rusher, rushing for almost 700 yards. Mackenzi Adams and Richard Kovalcheck will battle for the backup spot. Red shirt freshmen Jared Funk and Turner Wimberly will also vie for playing time.
TAILBACK- Cassen Jackson-Garrison returns for his senior season after rushing for 614 yards in 152 attempts. Fellow east Tennessean Jeff Jennings should also be back after sitting out the 2006 season with a leg injury. Jennings started almost every game in 2005 and if his injury is completely healed he could possibly unseat Jackson-Garrison as starter in 2007. Regardless of who gets the starting nod both players are likely to see a similar amount of action. Jared Hawkins also returns after averaging almost 7 yards a carry in 2006. He's a quick and shifty runner who could also challenge for the starting position. Sophomore-to-be Gaston Miller is another player that could see playing time along with upcoming red shirt freshman Kennard Reeves.
WIDE RECEIVER- Vandy returns starters George Smith and all everything Earl Bennett. Look for lightning fast Sean Walker, who had 16 catches in 2006, to be the front-runner for the starting position vacated by graduating Marlon White. Alex Washington and Bryant Anderson could also challenge. Sophomores Larry Simmons, Justin Wheeler and upcoming red shirt freshman Steven Goulet will also compete for playing time.
OFFENSIVE LINE- This position was seen as a significant strength at the start of the 2006 season. After a slow start at Michigan the O-Line performed well until late in the season as injuries mounted. Veteran starters Chris Williams, Merritt Kirchoffer, Josh Eames and Hamilton Holliday all return. Vanderbilt, with he SEC's backing, has requested a waiver to allow Brian Stamper to be eligible to play in 2007. If the NCAA honors that request, Vanderbilt will return its entire starting offensive line. If the waiver isn't approved look for Elliot Hood to move into the starting position if he is healthy. Hood was nagged by a shoulder injury throughout the 2006 season. Converted tight end Thomas Welch could also compete for Stamper's starting position. Bradley Veirling, Ryan Custer, Ryan Vance, Drew Gardner and Eric Hensley should see backup time. Upcoming red shirt freshmen Drew Brenk, Joey Bailey and Reilly Lauer could also vie for playing time. Lauer and Bailey are both working to increase their sizes to SEC standards. Brenk has the build already for the trenches.