Vanderbilt photographers John Russell and Joe Howell attended preseason practices earlier this week and captured the following images.
Photo Gallery 1 | Photo Gallery 2
Saturday morning practice open to public
AUG 12 11:45 AM
The Commodores will hold its only preseason practice that is open to the public this Saturday. Gates at the practice complex will open at 9 a.m., with the session getting underway around 9:30 a.m. Fans in attendance are invited to take part in the "Paint the Town Gold" initiative to distribute posters and schedule cards throughout Nashville.
Fitting a helmet
AUG 12 10:26 AM
Before each season, Vanderbilt's equipment staff fits each member of the team with proper pads, jerseys, pants, shoes and helmets. But not just anyone can fit a player for a helmet. In fact, you must be certified each year to do so. An added emphasis has also been placed on the safety of helmets due to the increased amount of information now available on concussions.
Vanderbilt Assistant Equipment Manager Chris Singleton has been with the Commodores for 11 years, and has seen the helmets evolve over time. In this video, Singleton takes you through the steps for fitting a helmet.
Camping with Joe: Setting the tempo
AUG 12 10:21 AM
The Voice of the Commodores Joe Fisher reports from preseason camp on how the football team is adjusting to the tempo set by new head coach James Franklin and his staff.
Franklin has invited fans to watch practice Saturday morning at the John Rich Practice Facility. Gates will open at 9 a.m., with the session getting underway around 9:30 a.m.
Cutler in Sports Illustrated
AUG 11 4:51 PM
Former Commodore QB Jay Culter was featured in the current issue of Sports Illustrated. Click here to read the article on Cutler.
AUG 11 1:12 PM
Following each practice, members of the football team cool off by taking a dip into the water. Only, it's not the type of water you'd be anxious to get into even on a 95-degree day. After the final huddle has been broken, the players remove their pads and gingerly make their way into tubs filled with ice and water for an ice bath. The cold tubs help the player's muscles recover sooner.
AUG 11 12:26 PM
Head Coach James Franklin met with the media following Thursday's morning practice. The team will practice again at 5:30 p.m.
Team sings Dynamite and alma mater
AUG 11 10:28 AM
As a detail-oriented person, Franklin has placed an emphasis on things such as mastering Dynamite and the alma mater. Watch the video of the team singing both songs with Vanderbilt Director of Bands, Dr. Dwayne Sagen. Read more.
Setting up the field
AUG 10 3:52 PM
Vanderbilt assistant equipment manager Gary Veach goes through the final steps of setting the field for practice by placing empty trash cans throughout the practice fields. The trash cans are used as obstacles during drills. Setting the field before every practice is routine for Veach and other members of the equipment staff, who are charged with placing all of the practice equipment in specific locations on the fields.
Goal posts are up
AUG 10 12:09 PM
When Vanderbilt Stadium was re-sodded in July, the goal posts needed to be removed. Now that the sod has taken root and is thriving, the goal posts were put back into place Tuesday.
Back to the practice field
AUG 9 5:38 PM
The Commodores returned to the practice field in shells Tuesday evening. In the photo above, members of the defensive line work on getting off the line of scrimmage and quickly hitting the sled.
The team will go to full pads for the first time Wednesday evening with the first two-a-day scheduled for Thursday. Check back to VUCommodores.com tonight for the practice report and post-practice interview with Coach Franklin.
New desktop wallpaper
AUG 9 3:33 PM
With preseason football camp underway, VUCommodores.com has created six desktop wallpapers available for fans to download for free. You can select your wallpaper of choice by clicking here.
Preseason Camp Flashback
AUG 9 12:13 PM
Almost nine years ago to the day, Vanderbilt food coach Majid "Magic" Noori was featured in Sports Illustrated's 2002 College Football Preview issue. The issue, dated Aug. 12, 2002, provided readers with an inside look at many of the top facilities football teams utilize, and Noori was profiled for his work in the team's Hendrix Room dining facility.
This time of year is extremely busy for Magic and his staff, which is working extended hours, providing three meals a day to the football team as it takes part in preseason camp.
The featured article was written by none other than Vanderbilt graduate Mark Bechtel. The text of the article reads:
"Majid Noori doesn't spend much time on the practice field or watching film, but he's still considered a member of the Vanderbilt coaching staff--and one of the most popular, at that. For the past 12 years the 48-year-old native of Iran, who has a bachelor's degree in physical education and sports science from the University of Tehran, has handled the Commodores' culinary needs. 'Every team needs a food coach,' says the man known to the players as Magic.
"On a typical morning Noori prepares 20 varieties of omelette (including crawfish, shrimp or angel-hair pasta) plus the usual breakfast fare: pancakes, sausages and muffins. For lunch the Commodores might dig into ham and turkey sandwiches, fruit smoothies, a veggie tray and three pasta salads. Regular dinner entrees include duck with parsley sauce, salmon teriyaki, lobster linguini salad and Irish stew with saffron rice. Steaks, burgers and chicken fajitas are also on tap. In an average day the team will plow through 320 pounds of beef, 170 potatoes, 200 bananas, 750 eggs and 125 gallons of fruit drinks. 'Just win and stay healthy,' says Noori. 'That's my motto.'"
Monday's practice underway
AUG 8 5:27 PM
The Commodores are back on the practice field Monday night. In just the first 15 minutes of practice, it was clear the physical nature of drills were intensifying leading up to the team's first practice in full pads on Wednesday.
The coaching staff began practice by shuffling the players through multiple stations which included ball carrying drills where the coaching staff used blockers and tried to strip the football. As you can see in the photo, even Coach Franklin tried to force a fumble.
At 5:20, the team was greeted by a brief shower, which did not disrupt play and lasted just long enough to cover the ground.
Striping the field
AUG 8 2:59 PM
This time of year as the temperature reaches extreme levels, there are very few Vanderbilt employees affected more by the conditions than those who maintain the grounds. To stay cool, the staff drinks plenty of liquids, often wears hats and wraps towels around their neck to keep the sun off.
On Monday afternoon as most people were enjoying the comforts of air conditioning, members of the grounds staff were hard at work striping the natural grass practice field at the John Rich Practice Facility.
During camp, the staff typically stripes the field once a week except during two-a-days when the crew often returns a second time.