August 6, 2007

Cain leads experienced, talented offense into camp

Rarely has a Vanderbilt offensive coordinator been able to count his blessings at the start of preseason practice more than Ted Cain.

First - and this is not something said often of Vanderbilt football - the Commodores legitimately have talent on offense that, in spots, is the envy of any other team in the Southeastern Conference. Rarely does Vanderbilt have a preseason All-American on offense, but this time the Commodores have two in receiver Earl Bennett (a consensus first-team selection by nearly everyone) and left tackle Chris Williams (a third-team selection by Athlon's).

In addition, two more Commodores�right tackle Brian Stamper (a second-team all-conference selection by some services) and quarterback Chris Nickson (third team preseason All-SEC by the coaches) have been singled out for preseason accolades.

Second, Cain's front-line troops will be plenty experienced. Of the 11 listed starters in the Vanderbilt media guide, all had at least five starts in 2006. If things go according to plan, all five starters on the offensive line will be seniors.

Finally, there is depth. Every player on the two-deep chart has seen some collegiate action, Of the 23 men listed on the two-deep depth chart (three quarterbacks are listed), none are freshmen, all have seen some collegiate action, and all but two (tailback Cassen Jackson-Garrison and center Hamilton Holliday) used a redshirt year. Among that number, there's plenty of class balance (nine sophomores, seven juniors, seven seniors).

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