September 6, 2007

Five questions with Vandysports.com

This week, BamaOnLine.com members submitted questions about Alabama's upcoming football game with Vanderbilt to Chris Lee of Vandysports.com. Below are Chris' responses to five of those questions.

1.] Inquiring mind: Jordanbama
Question: Who are Vandy's weapons on offense other than Chris Nickson and Earl Bennett?
Lee's answer: I'll touch on the running backs below, so let me focus on the receivers here. The main guys to watch are receivers Sean Walker and George Smith. Walker emerged from a pack of guys early last year to break in as the team's No. 4 wideout, and played well enough that by the end of the year, the team was using a three-wide set with him as the third guy. I don't have 40 or 100 times at my disposal, but my guess is that he's the fastest offensive player on the team, and may get a carry or two on an end-around (he had two last week). Nickson may also attempt a deep ball or two down the middle of the field to him as well. Smith is a player I thought would be a star when he broke in as a freshman. He's an interesting case because he got two redshirt years, the second coming after a life-threatening illness three springs ago. And after that, he was the victim of a random shooting two years ago that wound up being minor but kept him out for about a game. He's tall and runs well, and I thought at this stage of his career, he'd be catching 600-800 yards of passes a year, but they didn't really look to him a lot last weekend (two catches, 15 yards). It's hard to tell if he hasn't developed, or if it's a case of being on the same team as Bennett, because Bennett seems to be open all the time no matter who's covering him, and not getting him the ball as much as possible would be a great strategy for getting fired. He's a junior, so the jury's not out yet. Don't expect the tight ends to be too involved in the passing game. Brad Allen may catch a pass or two, but they didn't look to the tight end once last week. And if you're a fan of offensive line play, watch Chris Williams at left tackle. He's a beast who hasn't allowed a sack in 12 games, and may be a first-rounder in April.


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