Vanderbilt Friday Practice Report

The Vanderbilt Commodores concluded the last week of preseason practice and will begin the first week of game prep for Western Carolina at John Rich Practice Facility on Friday evening. The practice session was quite brisk despite the team being in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts.

The entire team is glad to get ready for contact with someone besides their team mates as stated by Greg Billinger "We are all pretty tired of hitting each other and we are ready to get to hit someone else".

It appears that many of the position battles are concluding with the exception of who will be the starting quarterback against the Catamounts next Saturday night. Both Larry Smith and Mackenzi Adams are still rotating snaps under center and the staff is not yet revealing who will be the starter next week.

The offensive line looks solidified with Thomas Welch and James Williams at the left and right tackle spots along with Eric Hensley and Ryan Custer on either side of center Bradley Vierling. Red shirt freshman tackles Caleb Welchans and Ryan Seymour have stepped up to take the second team tackle spots. Chris Aaron and Kyle Fischer will backup the guard spots while Joey Bailey will be the second team center. The offensive line is working together and communicating well after 4 of 5 starters return. Williams commented "We have done a great job working together and running the new system".

In the offensive backfield tailback Jared Hawkins sat out again while freshmen Zac Stacy, Warren Norman and Wesley Tate along with junior Kennard Reeves all took snaps at running back and all four looked sharp in drills.

The receiving corps looked good in drills with Alex Washington, John Cole, Udom Umoh, Justin Green, Chris Reinert and Brady Brown all seeing action. Alex Washington knows Vandy's receivers are young but is confident in their abilities, "We're good, we are young but very talented" stated Washington. The tight tnds continued to look solid with Brandon Barden and Austin Monahan getting the majority of the reps while Ryan van Rensburg and Chris DeGeorge are working as their back-ups.

The defense continued to be a bright spot for the team with the defensive line, linebackers and defensive backfield looking solid throughout practice. The defensive line looks impressive with Tim Fugger and Broderick Stewart at the end spots and Greg Billinger and Adam Smotherman at the tackle spots. Johnell Thomas and Teriall Brannon looked good as well as the backup ends while T.J. Greenstone and Rob Lohr were impressive at the backup tackle spots. Senior tackle Greg Billinger had some good things to say about the younger players, "The young guys have really stepped up and are ready to play".

The Commodores will conclude this week's workouts on Saturday morning and begin final preparations for next Saturday's opener with Western Carolina.

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