Aug. 3, 2013
Nashville - One day after suggesting the Commodores could have achieved more in their opening preseason practice, Vanderbilt Head Coach James Franklin praised the squad after a crisp, quick tempo session Friday on campus.
The Commodores worked on every phrase of the game during the two-hour, 15-minute practice at the John Rich Practice Facility. Afterward, Franklin said he liked the overall effort and commitment displayed throughout the roster.
"Our energy was much better," Franklin said. "I saw guys really flying around and doing some good things.
"Last night we told the young guys that it was time to grow up. It's not like it used to be - these guys have been here all summer. I saw a lot of them do that today," Franklin added.
Every aspect of the Friday session appeared a step quicker and more efficient than the Thursday practice. The players appeared more attentive during circuits of individual instruction early in the practice, then continued to show the same focus and interest through 7-on-7 and team drills that capped the session.
The squad will stage its third preseason practice Saturday afternoon, then take Sunday off before returning to work Monday. The team's first session in full gear is scheduled Tuesday.
Ending the Session With a Roar
The concluding field goal conversion period, which factors heavily into how much the team runs following practice, mirrored the coach's positive assessment of the workout.
After missing several field goals Thursday, the kickers were nearly perfect Friday. Each conversion brought an appreciative roar from teammates.
The coach must have enjoyed the kicking accuracy as much as his players. After the final conversion, Franklin's whistle signaled an immediate end to the practice - and no extra conditioning sprints.
Commodore play-by-play announcer Joe Fisher and Vanderbilt Radio Network sideline reporter Mitch Light were among media members watching the team's second session.
Former Vanderbilt linebacker John Stokes also watched the festivities and later spoke at the team's post-practice meeting. Stokes, a three-year starter who graduated in 2010, is currently working toward a degree in medicine from Vanderbilt.