Commodores open preseason practice

Vanderbilt opened their 2009 preseason practice today at the John Rich Practice Facility. Vanderbilt worked out over two hours in helmets, shirts and shirts. The team focused on several drills including 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 series.

Head coach Bobby Johnson was please with the first workout, "The energy level was great and everybody was enthusiastic." Johnson, entering his eighth season as Commodore head coach is 27-56 at Vandy and 87-92 overall.

News surfaced at the practice that injuries had ended both wide receiver Justin Wheeler and linebacker Brandon

Bryant's careers at VU. It was also revealed that redshirt freshman offensive lineman Micheal Bryant had left the team.

Some good news included the fact that there is still at least a chance that wide receiver Terrence Jeffers could be eligible in 2009. The Commodore staff will know on Tuesday whether or not they'll have his services.

VandyMania's Stan Jones attended practice and says Jared Hawkins looks like he's bulked up some. He also says that the three freshmen running backs look great and have very quick feet. He was really excited about Zach Stacy. Last year Stacy ran for 2,413 yards and 35 touchdowns as a senior at Bibb County high school in Alabama. Jones also commented that he thinks defensive linemen Rob Lohr and Taylor Loftley will get playing time this season.

Jones also said that it appears that James Williams is slotted as starter at right tackle.

Vanderbilt also reported that four new walk-ons have joined the team. Quarterback Matt Casas of Saratoga, Calif., punter Walt Wepfer of Memphis, defensive end Mark Panu of Mableton, Ga., and snapper Conrad Quiros of Atlanta were all at practice.

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