Pre-Season Notebook: Offense

VandyMania's Stan Jones reviews the highlights from the first week of football practice and where the team may be headed.

Pre-Season Notebook: Offense

 

After the first week of practice for the Commodores we have compiled these observations from the John Rich Practice Complex. After going into full pads on Friday the team has cranked up the intensity this weekend with two scrimmages and the two-a-days started today. The team appears to be the most well conditioned squad that Bobby Johnson has fielded at this point in the season, and the expectations of the squad are as high as any Vanderbilt fan can remember.

 

Offense:

 

  • The competition for several spots on the offensive side of the ball has become very heated and this should help solidify the team. The running back, right guard and tight end spots appear to be up for grabs.

 

 

 

  • Merritt Kirchoffer and Bradley Vierling are battling for the right guard spot which appears to be leaning towards senior Kirchoffer. Kirchoffer started 9 games last year. But he is being pushed by sophomore Bradley Vierling for playing time on the first team.

Sign up to for a VandyMania.com Total Access Annual plan and get complete access to VandyMania.com. VandyMania is the oldest and best Vanderbilt fan news publication on the web. For a limited time only get 56 issues of Sports Illustrated when you sign up. Click HERE for more information.

 

  • Tight end is another position that could tighten up as camp moves on between junior Brad Allen, sophomore Jake Bradford and freshman Brandon Barden. Barden appears to have the size and skills to push for playing time this fall.

 

  • Tackle Thomas Welch has looked strong in drills so far after bulking up to 295 lbs. in the off season while maintaining his speed and quickness. We expect him to push for quality minutes during this season.

 

  • Earl Bennett has continued to look sharp along with George Smith and Sean Walker during the first week of camp. Other receivers that have had a good camp so far are Chris Reinart, Alex Washington, Bryant Anderson, freshman Udom Umoh and walk-on Chris Crooks. Reinert has worked very hard during the off-season and has a good understanding of the offense and has looked good making numerous catches every time he has gotten the ball thrown his way. Commodore fans might remember that he caught several balls including a touchdown during the spring scrimmage. Reinert has earned a scholarship from the staff this year after playing as a walk-on last season.

 

  • The senior laden offensive line is playing with confidence and it has showed on the practice field. They are all very excited about the upcoming season and most of them have expressed how different it feels this year compared with previous years where they have been a "rag-tag" group of guys.

 

Several players have been a little knicked up during the first week of practice but no lingering injuries appear to have occured. Players missing some practice this week have been WR George Smith, T James Williams, T Gregg Billinger, T T.J .Greenstone and DE Curtis Gatewood. None of the injuries are seroius and everyone of the players should be back in competition this week.

As practice continues this week VandyMania will keep you up to date with reports from camp and notebooks covering the defensive side of the ball as well as special teams.

 

Stan Jones is the Football Editor for VandyMania and syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com. Stan is also a member of the Football Writers of America.

Sign up to for a VandyMania.com Total Access Annual plan and get complete access to VandyMania.com. VandyMania is the oldest and best Vanderbilt fan news publication on the web. For a limited time only get 56 issues of Sports Illustrated when you sign up. Click HERE for more information.


VandyMania.com Top Stories