Commodores prepare for final scrimmage

April 5, 2013

Black & Gold Spring Game Events

NASHVILLE – The Commodores worked through a methodical two-hour practice Friday in preparation for their final scrimmage until the featured Black & Gold Spring Game scheduled on Saturday, April 13.

While guiding the squad through the session that focused on position training, team drills, scheme development and two-minute offense, Head Coach James Franklin demanded high energy and effort from his Commodores, frequently calling for players to improve their individual fundamentals, offensive backs and receivers to go at full speed, and the entire defense to run until they heard his whistle stopping plays. 

Afterward, Franklin said he expected to see more progress from both sides of the ball on Saturday, when the squad stages its third and final full-contact scrimmage until April 13 when the program holds its Black & Gold Spring Game.

For much of Friday's practice, the defense appeared to hold the advantage over their offensive counterparts. During the closing 11-on-11 "thud" session, the offense was held scoreless on three straight "last-minute" possessions. Defensive ends Kyle Woestmann and Stephen Weatherly forced incomplete third-down passes with quarterback pressures while linebacker Casey Hughes ended the final drive with a pass interception.    

Prep Coaches Participating in Coaches' Clinic Through Saturday
Prep coaches representing eight states are expected to watch the Saturday scrimmage. The coaches are on campus participating in a two-day coaches' clinic that is the first directed by Franklin's staff at Vanderbilt. 

Franklin served as a featured speaker after the Friday practice. He joined a list of speakers that includes several prep head coaches, including Brandon Gray from Adamsville (Tenn.) H.S., Derek Leonard from Rochester (Ill.) H.S., Rodney Saulsberry from Whitehaven H.S. in Memphis, Marty Wheeler of Covington (Tenn.) H.S., and Eric Swenson of Huntingdon (Tenn.) H.S.

Virtually Franklin's entire staff were clinic participants. Offensive coordinator John Donovan, defensive coordinator Bob Shoop and special teams coordinator Charles Bankins were scheduled to make presentations in their areas of coaching expertise. The coordinators and six Commodore position coaches – Brent Pry (assistant head coach/co-defensive coordinator/linebackers), Herb Hand (running game coordinator/offensive line), George Barlow (defensive backs), Josh Gattis (wide receivers), Ricky Rahne (quarterbacks) and Sean Spencer (defensive line) – held breakout and chalk talk sessions with clinic attendees.

CSS Will Tape-Delay Broadcast of Black & Gold Spring Game 
For a third consecutive year, Comcast Sports South (CSS) will air the Black & Gold Spring Game on a taped delay basis to subscribers across the Southeast. The initial CSS broadcast will come on April 13, starting at 7 p.m., CT. 

A more detailed version of the Vanderbilt intrasquad game, featuring interviews with Coach Franklin, staff coordinators and several top players, will air initially on April 24.

One of CSS's top personalities, Matt Stewart, will handle play-by-play duties. A former Vanderbilt gridiron legend, Corey Chavous, will serve as analyst for the second straight year. Popular Nashville sports television anchor Dawn Davenport will be CSS's sideline reporter. 

The Black & Gold Scrimmage will also air several hours after the game online via It will be available starting at 10 p.m., CT, on the 13th.



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