Vanderbilt Football 2007: Offensive Tackles

We continue our 2007 positional analysis of the Vanderbilt Commodores today as we look at the offensive tackles. This is part V of a multi-series previewing the 2007 Commodores.

71 Joey Bailey 6-4 260 Fr.-RS Trussville, Ala./Hewitt-Trussville
66 Eric Hensley 6-6 305 So.-1L Clinton, Tenn./Clinton
86 Reilly Lauer 6-6 238 Fr.-RS Gates Mills, Ohio/St. Ignatius
72 Brian Stamper 6-5 295 Sr.-3L Windermere, Fla./Lake Highland
76 Thomas Welch 6-6 290 So.-1L Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood
74 Chris Williams 6-6 315 Sr.-2L Glynn, La./Catholic
65 Kyle Fischer OL 6-6 300 Fr. Columbia, S.C./Spring Valley
77 James Williams OL 6-6 300 Fr. Smyrna, Tenn./Smyrna

Bold= projected starter

This may be the two best offensive tackles to ever play for the Commodores at the same time. Brian Stamper and Chris Williams have already established themselves around the league as two of the best in the SEC.

Stamper (photo right) returns for his sixth year with the Commodores after being granted a medical redshirt for last season. He injured his back in the third game of the season and required surgery before the conclusion of the season. Stamper earned All-SEC honors two years ago as well as being voted preseason All-SEC last year.

Chris Williams has developed into an excellent tackle on the opposite side of Stamper and has excellent size to go along with his great athleticism. Williams has great speed for a big man and he moves well in both directions. With Stamper and Williams at each tackle for the Commodores, the offense should have two stalwarts to build around.

Thomas Welch and Eric Hensley will be the backups and both appear ready to step into some regular playing time. Welch switched from tight end last season and played well at tackle in several games despite giving up some weight to defensive lineman. Welch has put on the desired weight during the off-season and will push for more playing time. He reported to pre-season practice at over 290 pounds.

Eric Hensley has made some big strides in the off-season on the field and in the weight room. The tackle spot also has two good redshirt freshmen that are working hard to get their chance to play as well. Reilly Lauer and Joey Bailey each had great springs.

True Freshmen James Williams and Kyle Fischer both have the frames to make an impact anywhere on the offensive line but both will likely be redshirted.

Grade A

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