Closing down SEC Media Days in Hoover

July 19, 2013

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Vanderbilt's annual trip to SEC Media Day in Hoover, Ala., has come and gone. After an early morning that began well before 6 a.m., Vanderbilt's representatives at Media Day were back in Nashville a little after 7 p.m. CT.

The day was jam-packed full with countless interviews with media members from around the country, and interviews were conducted on all platforms.

Vanderbilt's travel party met at McGugin Center at 5:50 a.m. and started the day with breakfast at Pancake Pantry, where the quartet of Head Coach James Franklin, defensive back Andre Hal, offensive tackle Wesley Johnson and wide receiver Jordan Matthews fueled themselves for the day ahead.

En route to Hoover, Franklin, Matthews and Johnson conducted live radio interviews. In between phone interviews, the players also answered questions from fans via @VandyFootball's Twitter account.

Approximately 45 minutes into the trip, Hal and Matthews, elected to catch up on sleep before meeting with the media. With Hal and Matthews down for the count, Johnson answered a few additional fan questions solo.

By 9:30 a.m., the Commodores had arrived at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham - The Wynfrey Hotel, site of the day's festivities. After signing a few autographs in the lobby, the quartet headed upstairs to change into their suits.

As is the case with every year, the Commodores again brought their 'A' games when it came to style. Outside of Johnson revealing that he would be wearing a Captain America t-shirt underneath his dress shirt, the players kept their dress attire under wraps until sporting the finished product.

The players took their attire seriously from head to toe with and emphasis on toe. Matthews and Johnson each went out of their way to make a statement with their socks. Matthews sported a red pair of socks with boats on them and Johnson had a brown pair of socks with mustaches on them. To learn more about the reasoning behind each player's outfit as well as what "big-man swag" is, be sure to watch this video.

Once the group had changed into their threads, they headed down to the lobby for interviews on radio row. Following their visit to radio row, the scheduled portion of the day began at 11:20 and lasted until a little after 2 p.m. During this time, the Commodores were shuffled between 14 interview rooms, featuring a variety of media.

SEC Media Days began on Tuesday and Thursday was the final day of the three-day event. The Commodores were paired with Alabama in the last rotation of the 2013 festivities. Georgia and LSU took part in Thursday's morning session.

After concluding the last scheduled interview, the quartet made one final trip to radio row before heading back up the elevator to change into more comfortable clothes for the ride home.

But the trip was not complete without a visit to Dreamland BBQ. The famous Alabama restaurant has been a staple following each of Vanderbilt's trips to SEC Media Day, and 2013 was no exception. The players had not eaten anything since breakfast and had worked up quite an appetite, but not enough of one to eat Dreamland out of ribs for the night.

After eating themselves into a food coma, the players were back on the road for the return trip to Nashville. It had been an exhausting day and the players used the three-hour trip to rest.

The rest will be short-lived, however. Friday, the trio will be back in the weight room for offseason workouts. Just 42 days from Thursday, Vanderbilt will open the college football season against Ole Miss on ESPN.



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