|Putting the wraps on SEC Media Day|
Media Day Transcript | Franklin Interview | Hayward | Marve | Smith
After an onslaught of interviews that began before 8 a.m., Vanderbilt's contingent concluded its trip to SEC Media Day just before noon on Friday.
The trip to Hoover, Ala., was Head Coach James Franklin's first appearance in front of the national media, which was out in record force. In total of 1,050 media members attended the three-day event, surpassing the previous record of 923 in 2009.
Vanderbilt linebacker Chris Marve was making his second straight appearance at media day and was joined by quarterback Larry Smith and cornerback Casey Hayward. "I was a lot more relaxed this time around," Marve said. "Last time, I was walking around wide-eyed, but today I was able to take in more of the experience."
For Smith, the trip to his home state brought back many memories from his high school days at Prattville, where he was the Alabama Player of the Year as a senior. Being close to home also enabled Smith to see his mother and father at the conclusion of media day.
The day began with Chick-fil-A biscuits before meeting individually with ESPN's Chris Low, Edward Aschoff and Ivan Maisel. The Commodores then headed to radio row to squeeze in a few interviews prior to beginning its structured media day schedule at 8:30 a.m. The structured schedule included a total of 13 interview rooms with the likes of CBS, ESPN, FSN, Sirius/XM and the grand ballroom with print media. Vanderbilt's quartet concluded its trip to media day with one last stop on radio row.
The Commodores were paired with Alabama during the morning session, and Crimson Tide fans made their presence known by gathering in the lobby of the hotel seeking autographs.
|Video: Joe Fisher interviews Larry Smith|
Senior quarterback and Alabama native Larry Smith talks with Joe Fisher about coming home for SEC Media Day. Watch Video
|Video: Chris Marve interviews Casey Hayward for final iReport from Media Day|
For his final iReport of the day from Hoover, Ala., and SEC Media Day, linebacker Chris Marve went searching for someone to interview. In his search he happened to come across teammate Casey Hayward, who he proceeded to turn the tables on by asking Hayward questions about his trip to SEC Media Day. However, before asking any questions Marve proceeded to rib Hayward about who was the best dressed Commodore at Media Day. Watch Video
|Tweets on Franklin's debut|
The Twitterverse has reacted to Coach Franklin's debut in the national spotlight at SEC Media Day. Here's a compilation of tweets from writers and fans:
@steelesports: "James Franklin may just change the culture at Vanderbilt. He was an interesting interview."
@WadeOn1420: "James Franklin is wooing the ballroom right now. Almost expecting a round of applause to erupt after some of these answers."
@DanWolken: "I can't believe I'm saying this, but James Franklin will be a force."
@geoff_calkins: "James Franklin is a good talker. After three minutes I can see why he's having some success recruiting."
@Dan_Rubenstein: "I think seven reporters just gave verbal commitments to James Franklin and Vanderbilt."
@dixiefriedsport: "Very impressed with James Franklin. He has a tough job, but that's the type guy needed to bring energy to Vandy"
@DjamesMitchell: "James Franklin is very impressive. He's going to be great for vandy."
@StanimalVSL: "People just now figuring out how awesome James Franklin is."
@unconquerednole: "Believe Vandy has a shot to win some games in the future with James Franklin. He sounds like a winner!"
@vandydores1: "Vandy is turning it around and James Franklin is the guy to do it!!!"
@kylebritt: "Very impressed with new Vandy coach James Franklin. He seems to be saying all of the right things."
@bigtreydaddy: "I like James Franklin. I hope his attitude translates to on-field results (with the obvious exception of the 9/17 game)"
@mrsderekcody: "Confidence worked for Dan Mullen, why not for James Franklin? Mind over matter sometimes..... you just never know!"
@JacobBunn: "Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin is speaking in the main room. He is very passionate about the future of VU football."
@ChaddScott: "Why is James Franklin succeeding on recruiting trail at Vandy? He's focusing on positives, not negatives."
|Video: Chris Marve iReport 10:50 a.m.|
Chris Marve files his third iReport of the day following his appearance in the print room. Watch Video
|Photos from the print room|
The print room can be the most intimidating stop during SEC Media Day with hundreds of media watching your every move and waiting for a headline-grabbing quote. Coach Franklin, Casey Hayward, Chris Marve and Larry Smith showed no signs of fear and handled each question like a pro. Here are a couple of photos from the room:
|Video: Chris Marve iReport 9:07 a.m.|
Chris Marve files his second iReport of the day from SEC Media Day. Watch Video
|Photos from Friday morning|
|Video: Chris Marve iReport 7:54 a.m.|
Chris Marve files his first iReport from SEC Media Day just before heading to radio row this morning. Marve will have updates throughout the day. Watch Video
|Video: SEC Media Day attire|
Chris Marve, Casey Hayward and Larry Smith are ready for the media gauntlet in Hoover.
After an early wake-up call, we caught up with the trio on the third floor of the Wynfrey Hotel to ask them about their media day attire. Watch Video
Also, make sure you keep up with @VandyFootball on Twitter (feed posted at top of page) for picture updates during the event.
|Thursday night notes|
One day prior to his official SEC Media Day debut, head coach James Franklin wasted no time interacting with media. Franklin jumped on the air with Nashville and Memphis stations on Radio Row Thursday afternoon in the lobby of the Wynfrey Hotel.
Coach followed that with an appearance in front of the Birmingham Vanderbilt Chapter at Out Takes/DiGiorgio's Restaurant. Franklin was introduced in front of a crowd twice as large as it was the previous year. The event was organized by Ronald Hatcher, a former football letterwinner, and Debbie Corum, who is a key official in the SEC Office.
Getting to know you
To become familiar with the facility, Football Sports Information Director Larry Leathers gave a brief tour of the Wynfrey Hotel, the site of SEC Media Days, to Casey Hayward, Chris Marve and Larry Smith Thursday evening. Marve, who attended the event last year, also offered advice to his teammates on how to prepare for the media contingent.
Life is but a Dream
Franklin, players and Vanderbilt media staff capped the night off at Dreamland, a legendary bar-b-que joint in Birmingham. The group took part in the festivities, even wearing the trademark bibs over a table full of food (pictured above). Our review: the ribs were tremendous as usual, but don't overlook the whitebread appetizer and the banana pudding desert.
You'll have to wait
Marve is keeping his lips sealed on his media day attire. He called it "top secret" and didn't even show teammates Hayward and Smith. The question is will Marve once again go studious with the bow tie and glasses look? Stay tuned.
The Commodores have an early wake-up call with interviews starting as early as 7:30 a.m. Do us a favor and tweet us @VandyFootball if we're not awake by 6 a.m. After a few cups of coffee, we'll have reports in the blog all morning long.
To keep you occupied
Jerome Boettcher wrote two pieces in The City Paper to prep you for Media Days. Commodores QB set to revisit where he's remembered as a winner
Media Day will be a new experience for Franklin
|Hoover, here we come|
And we're off to Hoover.
Larry Leathers, football SID legend (and coffee consumer by the barrel), served as the captain of our luxurious Ford Expedition, with web guy Brandon Barca riding shotgun and cornerback Casey Hayward, linebacker Chris Marve and quarterback Larry Smith reclining in the back two rows. Leathers has seniority in the group; it's his 11th trip to SEC Media Days. And we're okay with that since he knows every backroad in Alabama.
Head coach James Franklin drove down separately to attend a Birmingham alumni chapter function in Homewood.
Before starting the 200-mile trek, we stopped for a bite to eat at Jason's Deli on West End (pictured above). Marve went with the salad bar with fruit, Hayward selected the chicken alfredo and Smith had the club royale.
Not long after lunch, we encountered a heavy downpour just south of Franklin, Tenn., until the Alabama state line. Leathers didn't blink for 45 minutes. During the storm, the guys got their first peek at the 2011 Vanderbilt Fact Book and could recite the exact play from several action images.
So what else did we learn about the players during the car ride?
Smith, who is returning to his home state, has two tailored suits to choose from for tomorrow's media spectacle. Smith's also wearing seven wristbands (four on his left hand and three on his right), none more significant than the other. And while thumbing through the Fact Book, he said to watch out for receivers Chris Boyd and Akeem Dunham this fall.
Hayward noted that his favorite sport in high school was basketball. The former point guard guided his team to 20+ wins each year. His iPod is filled with rap and R&B music (and not Taylor Swift and Dixie Chicks as Marve suggested).
Marve, a native of Memphis, has never been to Graceland. The senior linebacker aspires to work in civil litigation. He's been interning for a Nashville law firm this summer.
That's it for now. We're closing in on Wynfrey Hotel but are stuck in rush hour traffic in Birmingham. Leathers' response: "What were we thinking?" Hayward said it's nothing compared to Atlanta traffic.
Stay with us for more updates from the road later tonight and all day tomorrow, and follow @VandyFootball on Twitter.
|Updates from SEC Media Day trip start Thursday|
Vanderbilt will take its turn in front of more than 900 media members Friday morning at SEC Media Day in Hoover, Ala.
The Vanderbilt contingent of Head Coach James Franklin and seniors Casey Hayward (DB), Chris Marve (LB) and Larry Smith (QB) will meet with the media from 8:30 - 11:20 a.m. on Friday at the Wynfrey Hotel.
The trip to media day will be the first for three members of the Vanderbilt quartet. Marve attended media day last year and is just the fourth Commodore to attend media day multiple times and first since former linebacker Jonathan Goff in 2006 and 2007.
Members of the team will travel to Alabama this afternoon, and Coach Franklin will gather with members of the Birmingham Vanderbilt Chapter at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Vanderbilt is scheduled for the same morning rotation as Alabama. LSU and Ole Miss will take part in the second session on Friday from 10:50 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Follow VUCommodores.com all day for live updates from the event. Also follow @VandyFootball on Twitter for tweets throughout the day. The SEC Media Day Central will air live video of Coach Franklin and players throughout the morning beginning at 8:30 a.m. with Franklin. Marve will be shown live at 8:40 a.m., Smith at 9:10 a.m. and Hayward at 11 a.m.
The site also includes updated quotes and video from every team at SEC Media Days.
ESPNU is broadcasting live from SEC Media Day from 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. CT on Friday and will carry Franklin's press conference in the main media room at 9:40 a.m. The feed will also be available on ESPN3.com.
Friday, July 22
First Rotation - 8:30-11:20 a.m.
Coach Nick Saban / SAF Mark Barron / LB Dont'a Hightower / RB Trent Richardson
Coach James Franklin / CB Casey Hayward / LB Chris Marve / QB Larry Smith
Second Rotation - 10:50 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Coach Houston Nutt / RB Brandon Bolden / DE Kentrell Lockett / OT Bradley Sowell
Coach Les Miles / LB Ryan Baker / QB Jordan Jefferson / WR Russell Shepard