By Zac Ellis
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Vanderbilt kicked off spring football on Feb. 27 with perhaps its most seasoned squad under fourth-year head coach Derek Mason. The Commodores return 18 starters (nine offense, seven defense, two specialists) in 2017, but they bring back 24 total players who started multiple games a year ago. That 2016 team finished the regular season 6-6 and earned a berth in the Camping World Independence Bowl.
The featued event of Vanderbilt's spring practice is a "Spring Showcase" this Saturday, March 25 at 10 a.m. The Showcase will include elements of a traditional Vanderbilt spring practice, including individual fundamentals, 7-on-7 segments, a scripted scrimmage and other drills. The Showcase is free for fans and will include food trucks, inflatables, face painters, balloon artists and a postgame autograph session.
Ahead of Vanderbilt's Spring Showcase, we caught up with Mason to discuss spring ball, from quarterback Kyle Shurmur's development to the race to replace linebacker Zach Cunningham to the expectations of a Commodore program on the rise.