2007 Outlook: Secondary
Aug. 25, 2007
The undisputed leader in the Vanderbilt secondary is starting strong safety Reshard Langford (6-2, 207, R-Jr.), an All-SEC caliber player who blends a nose for the football with a hard-hitting style rarely witnessed on the Commodore campus.
Langford also brings a field general presence to the Commodore secondary. As a two-year starter entering the season, Langford knows the responsibilities of every secondary position and will serve as a steadying force to an otherwise youthful corps.
Darlron Spead (5-10, 185, R-So.) also returns as one of the team's top playmakers in the secondary. Spead was the Commodores' top nickelback and snared three interceptions as a redshirt freshman last year. Though limited in spring drills due to an offseason knee procedure, Spead is expected back at 100 percent in fall camp.
Across from Langford, Ryan Hamilton (6-1, 208, R-So.) returns as the starting free safety. Thrust into a starting job in 2006, Hamilton improved with every game despite playing the entire campaign at less than full speed. Hamilton is coming off an outstanding Spring Practice, and is positioned to have a banner year in 2007.
Langford's backup at strong safety, Brent Trice (6-2, 210, So.), is one of the most gifted athletes on the Commodore roster. After playing a key role as a true freshman last year, Trice has a chance to develop into an outstanding player in the future. Joel Caldwell (6-1, 190, R-So.) moved to free safety during spring drills after starting several games at cornerback last year. Caldwell will contend for valuable minutes for the Commodore secondary as he becomes more familiar with the safety responsibilities.
A pair of talented sophomores, Myron Lewis (6-2, 195) and D.J. Moore (5-10, 175) exited spring drills as the likely starters at cornerback.
Moore got a taste of the SEC as a freshman, starting nine straight games and earned a big-play reputation in 2006. The experience Moore gained last year should be a huge benefit in his sophomore season. Lewis' involvement in the Commodore secondary last year was limited, but he came on with a tremendous Spring Practice to earn the starting job entering preseason camp. Lewis blends outstanding size with superb athleticism.
The Commodores also return a pair of former starters at cornerback in redshirt juniors, Josh Allen (5-9, 182) and Jared Fagan (5-9, 180). Allen enjoyed a solid Spring Practice after finishing 2006 in the starting lineup, while Fagan watched his participation increase as the season endured.
The staff also was pleased with the development of Alan Strong (5-9, 175, R-Fr.) during spring drills, and expects the newcomer to contend for playing time during preseason camp. Another cormerback prospect to watch in camp is incoming freshman Jamie Graham (6-0, 180).