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Vandy’s Franklin Levels A Player In Practice

Count me as a sucker for feel-good stories.  Last summer I wrote that I would like to South Carolina and Ole Miss reach the SEC Championship Game as neither had been there before.  Turns out, one team made it, the other fell apart.

Well, I don’t think Vanderbilt is going to be reaching Atlanta anytime soon, but new coach James Franklin is 2011′s feel-good story in the SEC.  Whether he can win games is still an unknown, but his passion and energy for the job are obvious.

In addition to lining up a series of surprising early commitments and accepting every speaking engagement that’s he been offered, Vandy’s young coach has taken to playing some quarterback during Commodore practices.  Yesterday, he even leveled a VU defender during a shoulder pads and shorts session.

Jeff Lockridge of The Tennessean has the details:

“After Franklin was intercepted by LB Archibald Barnes on a pass over the middle, the coach gave chase toward the front left pylon as Barnes attempted to return the pick for a score.  Sophomore DB Andre Hall was shielding Barnes when Franklin — not wearing any pads, mind you — put two arms into Hall an sent him flying out of bounds.  It was a priceless moment.”

It sound like the coach enjoyed doling out a lick, too.  “I didn’t know who it was (I hit),” Franklin said.  “I was trying to find out who it was.  It was fun.  It was fun to get out there and compete with them and fly around and show them how competitive that we’re all going to be in this program… everyone.”

Eleven SEC coaches would disagree with me, but a competitive Vanderbilt program would be great for the league.  So here’s hoping the roster Franklin has inherited won’t lead to so many losses in 2011 that the coach’s forward momentum is stopped.  Personally, I’d like to see what this guy could do if he started to catch a break or two.



They don't play LSU this year so I hope for the best, I think everyone knows realisticly with their schedule they will not be a favorite to win but that is not stopping them and you have to start somewhere, I hope he can put VU on the SEC map in the next few years to come.


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