Johnson Eager to Open Commodore Camp
Aug. 3, 2007
Nashville, Tenn. - More than 100 Vanderbilt football prospects are expected to report this weekend in preparation for the start of Head Coach Bobby Johnson's sixth Commodore preseason camp.
Johnson is expected to welcome 27 incoming freshmen and new invited walk-ons on Saturday and 77 returnees from the 2006 squad on Sunday as the staff prepares to begin preseason drills Monday afternoon on campus.
The Vanderbilt head coach will open the team's first workout of the season to Commodore followers. The practice is expected to begin at 6 p.m., Monday, at the John Rich Practice Facility. All other preseason practices leading to the Vanderbilt opener versus Richmond on Saturday, Sept. 1 will be closed to the general public.
"I can't wait to get our guys back on the football field, and back to work. This is an exciting time of the year for all of us," Johnson said. "I'm looking forward to getting started because I know how hard the guys have worked this summer to be ready for the upcoming season. Coach (John) Sisk and his staff have really praised the team's overall effort and commitment during our summer conditioning program.
"I think all of us are eager to get started, and are excited about the upcoming season," Johnson added.
Brisk season ticket sales indicate that Commodore followers are excited to get a chance to see the squad try to improve off an 4-8 campaign last year. On Friday, Vanderbilt surpassed the 13,000-plateau in season ticket sales, the program's highest total in nearly a decade.
Seventeen starters from the 2006 Commodore squad - nine on offense and eight on defense - are expected to participate in the initial practice. The returnees include some of the SEC's top players, including junior All-America wide receiver Earl Bennett, preseason All-America candidates Jonathan Goff at linebacker and Chris Williams at offensive tackle. The squad also includes four others named to various preseason all-conference squads: junior quarterback Chris Nickson, senior offensive tackle Brian Stamper, senior defensive end Curtis Gatewood, and junior safety Reshard Langford.
After the opener against Richmond, the Commodores start their SEC schedule by hosting Alabama and Ole Miss on Sept. 8 and Sept. 15, respectively. After a week off, Vanderbilt hosts Eastern Michigan on Sep. 29 before making its first road trip of the year to Auburn on Oct. 6.
Vanderbilt will play eight games on campus this year for the first time in more than a century. Season ticket plans for the Commodores' home schedule, the least expensive in the SEC, are available online at www.vucommodores.com, via the phone at (877) 44-VANDY and at the athletic box office on-campus in McGugin Center.
In the second half of the upcoming season, Vanderbilt also hosts Georgia on Oct. 13, Miami (Ohio) on Oct. 27, Kentucky on Nov. 10, and Wake Forest in the finale on Nov. 24.
The team's official fan day activity, Dore Jam, is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 12, starting at 4 p.m., at the Rich Practice Facility.