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In what has become a Vanderbilt tradition at SEC Media Day, the Commodores stopped at Dreamland BBQ to eat some ribs, sausage, baked beans, mac and cheese and, of course, banana pudding. The guys had not eaten since a little after 6 a.m., so you can imagine the damage they did.
Before heading for the exit, Coach Franklin posed with a young fan, who he taught how to do the "VU" hand sign right before taking the photo.
After Coach Franklin's appearance in the main ballroom, it was the players' turn. Each player was assigned to a table in a different corner of the ballroom. Once seated, they were approached by the swarms of media members. The time spent in the ballroom was the final stop of the day for the Commodores. Elsewhere, at the same time, Coach Franklin, was being interviewed by local television stations.
Each year, there is a friendly competition waged between teammates to see who is the best dressed Commodore at SEC Media Day. The outfit is typically kept a secret until the finished product can be seen. This year was no exception. During the car ride down to Hoover, Jordan Matthews and Andre Hal each declined to discuss their attire for the day. Wesley Johnson would only reveal that he was wearing a Captain America t-shirt under his dress shirt.
Once again, the Commodores went above and beyond in selecting their threads for the day. Hear the players describe their outfit of choice. If you do, you will almost certainly learn a thing about socks and a little thing called "big-man swag."
The biggest gathering of media each year comes in the main ballroom where hundreds of regional and national writers convene to ask questions of SEC coaches, who address the media at a podium in the front of the room. Coach Franklin received his opportunity around 1 p.m. and tackled a number of questions.
One of the topics Franklin addressed was the significance of the program's recent success. "I think it is very significant. We try not to look back on the past, but we know it is significant. We notice it the most when we go around to the high schools to recruit."
Each player and coach attending SEC Media Days has a personalized sign that identifies which meeting room they are in. This helps the media know where each individual is throughout the day.
After changing into their suits, the Commodores made their way downstairs to the lobby of the hotel where radio row is located. Radio stations from throughout the Southeast attend SEC Media Days each year to conduct interviews with coaches, players and other media members.
Before heading downstairs to visit radio row, Wesley Johnson, Coach Franklin, Andre Hal and Jordan Matthews posed for a photo.
After approximately three hours in the car, the Commodores arrived at SEC Media Day. When entering the hotel, the Commodores were greeted by a number of fans that were camped out in the lobby of the hotel hoping to get an autograph or even just a glimpse at the players and coaches from all SEC programs. Just before entering the hotel, Jordan Matthews, who hails from Madison, Ala., had an opportunity to say see his mother and father, who made the trip down to see him.
Once inside, the players spent a few minutes signing autographs before heading up the elevator to change into their suits.
A record number of media voters predicted four Commodores to earn All-Southeastern Conference honors this season during SEC Media Days at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham.
Wide receiver Jordan Matthews and place kicker Carey Spear were chosen as first-team honorees, while cornerback Andre Hal was named to the second team and offensive lineman Wesley Johnson was a third-team selection. Nearly 250 votes were cast by the media assembled in Birmingham, who will greet Matthews, Hal, Johnson and Head Coach James Franklin when the Commodores attend SEC Media Days this morning. Read More
After loading up the Expedition at 6 a.m. at the McGugin Center, the Vanderbilt contingent of Coach Franklin, Andre Hal, Wesley Johnson and Jordan Matthews, filled themselves with pancakes, eggs, sausage and bacon for breakfast at Pancake Pantry before hitting the road to Hoover.
The Commodores are being escorted to SEC Media Day by sports information maven Larry Leathers, who making his 12th straight trip to Hoover for the annual event. While behind the wheel, Leathers consistently works the phones scheduling and confirming interviews.
If you didn't know from the wall-to-wall coverage on ESPN, it is SEC Media Days week. Each year, national and regional media members flock to Hoover, Ala., in July for the annual media showcase, marking the unofficial start to the 2014 college football season.
This year's three-day event that began Tuesday and runs through Thursday, attracted more than 1,200 media members. Vanderbilt will get its opportunity to meet with the throngs of media Thursday afternoon in the final session of the day. The Commodores, who will be paired with Alabama, will be represented by Head Coach James Franklin, senior defensive back Andre Hal, senior offensive tackle Wesley Johnson and senior wide receiver Jordan Matthews.
The Commodores are scheduled to meet with the media Thursday from 11:20 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. CT at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham - The Wynfrey Hotel. The morning session features LSU and Georgia.
Vanderbilt's contingent of student-athletes and staff will be departing Nashville early Thursday morning to make the three-hour trek to Hoover. During the time in the car, Vanderbilt's players will answer fan questions on the @VandyFootball Twitter account. Fans can submit questions to @VandyFootball at any time.
Once at the hotel, Vanderbilt's players and coaches will be shuffled through 14 different media stops. Interviews will be conducted with the likes of ESPN.com, ESPNU, CBS, CSS, SEC Radio and many more. The biggest media crush will come in the main ballroom where all print reporters gather. Each head coach addresses the room at the front podium. Coach Franklin will speak in this room from 12:40-1:10 p.m. The media session will be televised live on ESPNU and ESPN3.com.
The student-athletes will close their appearance at SEC Media Day in the main ballroom. Instead of standing at the podium, the players sit at tables in all corners of the room as media members move between them.
Follow VUcommodores.com all day Thursday for live updates from the event. Also be sure to follow @VandyFootball for tweets throughout the day.
SEC Media Days Central will also include quotes and video from every team.
Thursday, July 18
First Rotation - 8:30-11:10 a.m.
Coach Les Miles / Jarvis Landry / Craig Loston / Zach Mettenberger
Coach Mark Richt / Arthur Lynch / Aaron Murray / Garrison Smith
Second Rotation - 11:20-2 p.m.
Coach James Franklin / Andre Hal / Wesley Johnson / Jordan Matthews
Coach Nick Saban / AJ McCarron / C.J. Mosley / Anthony Steen