On Campus in Nashville - The Commodores entered their final week of spring practice on Tuesday with the same commitment as they've shown for the last month.
The fully-clad squad, just five days from staging the Black and Gold Spring Game, displayed plenty of energy and enthusiasm during the two-hour, 30-minute session that focused on individual and team instruction, fundamentals, conditioning and a variety of situational 11-on-11 drills.
Head Coach James Franklin was pleased with how much his squad accomplished, saying it was part of a trend through Vanderbilt's spring drills.
"It was good, the same as they've worked for the past month," Franklin said. "We got a lot of work done. We're trying to create depth on our roster and we've been able to get a lot of guys really good work.
"I was real pleased with the amount of situational work we did today, just a lot of red-zone, third-down and two-minute things," the coach added.
Praising Young Defensive Candidates
Several young Commodore defenders continues to make their presence felt in the 11-on-11 segment. Cornerback Paris Head deflected two passes in the segment. Defensive end Stephen Weatherly appeared to post a quarterback sack and applied pressure on two other passes. Linebacker Ja'karri Thomas again exhibited explosiveness at the point of tackle. Another young linebacker, Darreon Herring, broke up two passes, including one throw into the corner of the end zone that looked like an apparent touchdown. Tackles Ladarius Banks and Adam Butler also continue to impress.
Another defender, Torren McGlaster, contributed two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. The score, coming in the two-minute drill with a defensive lead, didn't get Franklin's approval. The coach wanted the cornerback to make the pick and get on the ground, effectively securing the win.
Kids Activities at the Spring Game Saturday
Two activities aimed at young Commodore fans are planned around the Black & Gold Spring Game. From 10:30-11:30 a.m., youngsters can participate in fun-filled activities at the playing surface of Vanderbilt Stadium with members of other Vanderbilt varsity sports. To participate in the Field Day activity, kids and their parents need to access Dudley Field through the tunnel off Jess Neely Drive.
After the game, Commodore players will hold a 15-minute autograph session for kids attending the spring game. The session also will be held on the playing field.
Gate 2 of Stadium opens at 11 am Saturday
Vanderbilt Stadium will open at 11 a.m., two hours prior to the start of the Black and Gold Spring Game. The team's Star Walk is scheduled to take place just before 12 noon.
Admission and parking is free to the spring game, which will end about one hour before Tim Corbin's nationally ranked Commodore baseball squad faces Missouri in the second of the three-game series. Several hundred outfield tickets ($7 each) remain available for the game.