NASHVILLE, Tenn. - After working in partial gear for four consecutive practices, the Commodores concluded their second two-a-day Wednesday night with a lengthy full-gear session.
Head Coach Bobby Johnson staged a brief 11-on-11 situational scrimmage to conclude the session, using the full-contact work to take a close look at numerous younger players expected to contribute in key reserve roles this season.
The Commodores will return to the John Rich Practice Facility Thursday and Friday for single sessions, then stage their second, full preseason scrimmage Saturday in Vanderbilt Stadium. On Sunday, the Commodores are off the practice field to enjoy Dore Jam Fan Day activities.
The coaches continued to focus on position techniques, special teams, individual and team drills, and playbook installment prior to the closing situational scrimmage.
Since an off day on Sunday, the Commodore offense has worked extensively on 11-on-11 drills with a play clock, working to get comfortable with the new NCAA mandate instituting a 40-second clock after a play has been ruled dead.
Concern Over A Teammate
The Wednesday night practice ended in silence, concern and a team prayer as the team's medical staff treated offensive line prospect Chris Aaron for a potential neck injury.
Aaron, a redshirt sophomore from Palos Verdes, Calif., was quickly immobilized by Commodore trainers after a full-contact collision in 11-on-11 drills. After Coach Johnson concluded practice, teammates and coaches gathered as Aaron was transported by ambulance to Vanderbilt Medical Center as a precautionary measure.
An offensive center/guard prospect, Aaron was released late Wednesday from Vanderbilt Medical Center after observation.
Johnson praised the quick response of the team's medical staff.
"We have a fine training staff and they're going to go to the nth degree to make sure they're doing the right thing and keeping them safe," Johnson said. "It's an indication to all our players that they're going to get great care here."
Vassar Visits Commodore Practice
Four days after appearing as a special guest on "Late Night with David Letterman," country music artist Phil Vassar visited with several Commodore coaches while watching practice Tuesday.
Dore Jam Coming Sunday, August 17
Dore Jam 2008, the Commodores' annual fan day activity, is scheduled Sunday, August 17, from 4-6 p.m., at the team's practice facility. The event features player autographs, childrens games and attractions, and representation by student-athletes of several Commodore sports. This year, the team will also unveil its new Nike uniforms, with pant and jersey combinations available in white, gold and black.