April 9, 2010
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Vanderbilt football fans can check the progress of their Commodores Saturday morning when Head Coach Bobby Johnson directs the Black & Gold Scrimmage on campus.
The scrimmage, the featured annual attraction of Commodore spring drills, will start at 10:30 a.m., in Vanderbilt Stadium.
Afterward, young Vanderbilt fans in attendance also will get a chance to meet their favorite players and coaches during a brief autograph session on the Dudley Field playing surface.
The scrimmage will end just before the start of an important women’s lacrosse match between Vanderbilt and Ohio State and one hour before Vanderbilt and South Carolina play the second of a key three-game baseball series at Hawkins Field.
Unfortunately, Commodore fans will not see one of the team’s top returning defensive players, junior linebacker Chris Marve, in action at the Black & Gold Scrimmage. Marve, an All-Southeastern Conference recipient in 2009 and the league’s leading returning tackler, is expected to undergo an arthroscopic procedure Monday to repair a shoulder injury that has lingered for several years.
Johnson, directing his ninth spring practice at Vanderbilt, hopes many Commodore fans take the opportunity to watch his squad at the Black & Gold Scrimmage.
“I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of Commodore fans in the stands,” Johnson said. “Our players really appreciate the support of fans and their families at the scrimmage. The weather also is supposed to be nearly perfect, so that’s another reason to attend.
“It’s also a great chance for Commodore fans to support Coach (Tim) Corbin’s baseball team and Coach (Cathy) Swezey’s lacrosse squad after our scrimmage. Capacity crowds would be a tremendous help for both of their teams,” Johnson added.
Gate 2 at Vanderbilt Stadium will open at 9:30 a.m., with Commodore cheerleaders distributing 2010 football posters and schedule cards, and Vanderbilt roster cards.
As Johnson continues to look for depth throughout the Commodore roster, offensive coaches will use the Black & Gold Scrimmage to judge the continuing progress of four Commodore quarterback prospects: 2009 starter Larry Smith, senior Jared Funk, freshman Charlie Goro and junior transfer Jordan Rodgers. The four signal callers have alternated possessions for much of the spring.
Among the top returnees expected to play Saturday at tailbacks Zac Stacy and 2009 SEC Freshman of the Year Warren Norman, wide receiver John Cole, tight end Brandon Barden, safety Sean Richardson, linebacker John Stokes, cornerback Casey Hayward and defensive end Tim Fugger
Marve is one of six Commodores ruled out of the Black & Gold Scrimmage. The Memphis product has not practiced since re-injuring his shoulder last week.
Others not participating are running back Wesley Tate, tight end Austin Monahan, defensive tackles T.J. Greenstone and Adam Smotherman, and linebacker Tristan Strong.