Nashville, Tenn. - Vanderbilt's James Franklin was pleased to get the first preseason practice as a head coach under his belt on Friday. Now, he expects the Commodores to improve every opportunity they get before facing Elon in four weeks.
"We just have to get better with every single practice," Franklin said. "I'd like to see us be cleaner and fly around a bit more. With a lot of new guys out there, they're a little hesitant. Even the vets have only one spring with us and the way I want us to practice is not completely ingrained in them. We'll talk as a staff on things we want to clean up and get a little sharper (on Saturday)."
Franklin welcomed 102 prospects to the team's first August workout at the John Rich Practice Facility. The Commodores focused on special teams, scheme development, and position instruction before staging 20 minutes of 11-on-11 drills. Franklin brought the session to a close with several wind sprints.
The team practiced in muggy conditions, but caught a break from recent record-breaking temperatures that reached 105 degrees on Wednesday. A severe storm earlier Friday held temperatures in the low-80s during the practice.
Like Friday, the team will practice in limited gear Saturday and Monday, then move into full pads on Tuesday. The Commodores will participate in Vanderbilt's annual Dore Jam Fan Day on Sunday afternoon.
Six quarterbacks see action
The Commodores' quarterback role has little resemblance to a year ago when just three signal callers were healthy enough to practice.
Six quarterback prospects, including senior Larry Smith, redshirt junior Jordan Rodgers and three freshmen signees, participated in all drills.
"I thought Larry (Smith) did some good things and it was just good to see Jordan (Rodgers) in his first live reps," Franklin said.
Rodgers, who missed all of the 2010 season and last year to injury, shared his coach's thoughts. "The arm felt good and it was just fun to be back there in the huddle, joking with the guys."
Watching from the Sidelines
Vice Chancellor of Student Athletics David Williams watched most of the session from the sidelines, spending time with several staffers, including the team's Director of Performance Enhancement Dwight Galt. Mark Carter, the newly appointed National Commodore Club executive director, also watched several periods.
Just before the football players arrived on the field, Franklin greeted several Commodore men's basketball players concluding their own workout, including seniors Brad Tinsley, Lance Goulbourne and Jeffery Taylor.