Vanderbilt opened its spring practice on Friday afternoon at the John Rich Practice Complex with a…
Vanderbilt gears up for spring practice
"These workouts have been way more challenging than I'm used to, but at the same time, I think it's better for the team as far as being in better shape, as far as hopefully preventing the numerous injuries we've had in the past," said Smith, who threw for 1,262 yards and six touchdowns as the starting quarterback for most of last season. "I can see a difference in myself and the younger guys, they're bulking up real fast."
On December 17th, Franklin was announced as the next Vanderbilt head football coach. The three months since then have been a frantic progression of steps towards laying a new foundation for his program, from hiring a full coaching staff to signing a recruiting class.
"The change that I've seen in just a short period of time we've been here, and the players can probably talk about it better than I can, I couldn't be more excited about where we're going, the attitudes of the guys on the team, the improvements that we've made," said Franklin in his opening remarks on Wednesday.
Franklin outlined the aggressive style in which he wants to run his practices but also noted the precautions that will be taken to help avoid the injuries that have plagued the Commodores in offseasons past. The first two spring practices on Friday and Saturday will be non-contact, along with the final mock walk-through before the Black and Gold game on April 18th, and quarterbacks may be off limits all spring long. Franklin maintained the emphasis he plans to place on establishing tempo and confidence.
"I do not want those guys to go out there and play afraid to make mistakes," Franklin said. "Sunday through Friday, prepare and practice like your life depends on it. On Saturday, just go out and play. I‘m going to sleep very good on Saturday night because I know my staff and my team has done everything they possibly can to get prepared."
In response to questions surrounding the spring depth chart, Franklin expressed his hopefulness to use the next month to settle a majority of the position battles before him heading into summer workouts.
"Right now we got names on a board by seniority," he said. "You might've been the third-team guard last year but you're a senior, you're first on the depth chart right now. After spring ball, I would say about 75 to 90 percent of that depth chart will be set, but there will still be some adjustments from there."
Senior linebacker Chris Marve, one of last year's team captains, was the first player to meet Coach Franklin upon his arrival in Nashville and is excited about the energy he has brought to the program.
"He's very enthused, charismatic, excited all the time," said Marve. "You can just tell when you talk to him he's so committed to what we have going on moving forward and being a great team."
Friday is the first of 15 sessions of official practice the Commodores will hold this spring, leading up to the Black and Gold Game inside Vanderbilt Stadium on April 18th.
VandyMania.com Recommended Stories
Michigan: Brandon Resigns, Hackett Interim AD
Michigan President Mark Schlissel officially announced the resignation of athletic director Dave Brandon Friday. Schlissel appointed Jim Hackett as the interim AD with the plan moving forward to hire…Read More
Hoops: Where are the Top Recruits Going?
The initial basketball signing period begins in less than two weeks and there are currently 22 players in Scout.com's 2015 top 100 still uncommitted. Who are those 22 players considering and who will…Read More
Catch Big Fall Bass on Natural Lakes and Rivers
Check out some great tips for bass fishing up north as the water cools on its way into winter. There is some great fishing to be had right now before it gets too cold.Read More
10 Creepy Trail Cam Pics For Halloween
Most of us would prefer to be sitting in our treestand on Halloween, waiting for a rutting buck to wonder past, than following our kids from house to house scrambling for treats. Here are a 10 spooky…Read More
2015 NFL Mock Draft 1.0
We're at the halfway mark of the NFL season, so here's our first crack at a mock draft. Hey, Oakland Raiders, you're on the clock!Read More
- Putting a Muffler on Heinicke—The Official VandyMania Pick ‘Em
- There are Two Factions on This Board. They cannot both be right.
- Impromptu fun poll 25,967: If you played organized football...
- Other than a win, what do you most want to see tomorrow?***
- Karl Dorrell Question