Vanderbilt Football 2007: Quarterbacks

Vanderbilt opens 2007 football drills today at the John Rich Practice Facility. Today VandyMania starts a multi-part preview of the different Vanderbilt positions. First we'll look at the quarterbacks.

9 Mackenzi Adams 6-2 208 So.-1L Tulsa, Okla./Union
12 Jared Funk 6-2 200 Fr.-RS Long Grove, Ill./Saint Viator
15 Richard Kovalcheck 6-2 222 Sr.-1L San Diego, Calif./St. Augustine
3 Chris Nickson 6-1 210 Jr.-2L Brundidge, Ala./Pike County
19 Larry Smith 6-2 195 Fr. Prattville, Ala/Prattville

Bold= projected starter

Last season quarterback Chris Nickson got his first taste of being a starter in the SEC. Nickson begins his second year leading the Commodore offense after posting stats last season totaling 2,085 yards passing for 15 touchdowns, and rushing for a team leading 694 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. With a season of experience under his belt, the coaching staff will be expecting much better play out of Nickson and better decision making from the signal caller.

Also competing for playing time at quarterback, Mackenzi Adams, Richard Kovalcheck and Jared Funk will all three be vying for playing time behind Nickson.

Adams appears to be ready to step in after showing the ability to move the offense against SEC opponent Ole Miss last year. Adams has good passing skilld to go along with a excellent rushing ability, in game action last season he moved the offense well despite having much playing experience. He has continued to develop during the spring and looked good during his time leading the offense.

Richard Kovalcheck joined the last season after transferring from the University of Arizona where he served as the starting quarterback for the Wildcats for parts of two seasons. He was a very highly touted recruit out of high school who had offers from top programs across the country. Kovalcheck has an excellent arm and has shown to possess good passing skills during limited action last season as well as during spring drills.

Redshirt freshman Jared Funk rounds also will be vying for snaps under center after spending his first year absorbing the offense and leading the scout team during game preparation last season. Funk appears to have all the skills needed to play in the SEC while serving in the capacity of helping the first team defense prepare for games last year. With a year of workouts and strength training under Coach Sisk he appears poised to step up his game to compete for playing time.

True freshman Larry Smith, who comes to Vanderbilt from Prattville, Ala. where here led his team to the State Championship, will do his best to get some playing time but will likely redshirt his first year.

With the experience level of Nickson, Adams and Kovalcheck all being significantly more than last season, quarterback play for the Commodores should show much improvement with much more consistency.

Grade B-

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