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2003 PREVIEW: Vanderbilt Commodores

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When took over the program, he started from absolute zero. Armed with an average group of talent, the Commodores played several freshmen and suffered through some major growing pains. As rough as the road was, Vandy didn¿t embarrass itself giving Florida, and Ole Miss some major challenges. This season will be step two in what should be a four-year process. With only one projected starting senior and two others listed as backups, there¿s a great deal of experience to be had. As young as this team is, there are 51 returning lettermen returning and enough raw talent that Johnson should be able to mold into an interesting group.

Team Information
Head coach:
2nd year: (2-10)
10th year overall: 62-46
Returning Lettermen: 51
Lettermen Lost: 18
Ten Best Players
1. RB Kwane Doster, Soph.
2. OT , Jr.
3. PK/P Greg Johnson, Soph.
4. QB , Soph.
5. DT , Jr.
6. LB , Soph.
7. FB , Soph.
8. RB , Jr.
9. FS , Soph.
10. DE , Soph.
2003 Schedule
8/30 Ole Miss
9/6 Tenn. Chattanooga
9/13
9/20 at TCU
9/27
10/4 at
10/11
10/18 Georgia
10/25 at
11/8 at
11/15
11/22 at
The Schedule: The SEC is never going to be easy and unfortunately for a team that still needs a boost in experience and talent, this slate isn¿t going to be easy. Traveling to Florida and should be nightmares, while hosting and Georgia shouldn¿t be a picnic. Non-conference games against TCU and will be challenging as well. Best Offensive Player: Sophomore RB Kwane Doster. After the rest of the Vandy running backs went down with injuries, Doster stepped up and carried the Commodore offense running for four, 100-yard games. With the rest of the backs back in the mix to take the pressure off, Doster could blossom into a star. Best Defensive Player: Junior DT . He¿s a bit undersized, but he has the potential to be a strong force if he gets a little help around him. He started all last season and is expected to progress into a top player. Key player to a successful season: Junior WR . With almost all the receiving production gone, it'll be up to Smith, and junior , to become the new go-to guys. If they don¿t have big seasons, the Vandy offense could sputter and cough. The season will be a success if: Vandy finishes anywhere but last in the SEC East. The Commodores came close to pulling off a few upsets last year, and a win over and one other big performance could mean a decent season. Vandy won¿t end up with a winning season, but the team needs to progress for when the team comes back fully loaded in 2004. Key game: August 30th vs. Ole Miss. How much better is this Commodore team? The test will come right off the bat against Ole Miss. A great performance would do wonders for team morale, while a win would make this the sleeper team of 2003. 2002 Fun Stats:
  • Second quarter scoring: Opponents 117 ¿ 58
  • Rushing Touchdowns: Opponents 30 ¿ 18
  • Fumbles: 27 (lost 13) ¿ Opponents 20 (lost 5) Final Thoughts: Baby steps. In one of the nation¿s nastiest conferences, it¿s hard for a program to rise in a hurry. It might not be this year, but the players are there to get experience this year to lead to big years in 2004 and 2005. The Vandy coaching staff will have none of that wanting to win now, and they should get their wish with at least one major upset.
    2003 Recruiting Class
    Star of the Class
    Steven Bright QB 6-3 208 Greer, S.C.Riverside HS
    Four-year varsity starter at quarterback... Two-time Offensive MVP for Warriors... Dual threat quarterback... 2001 season ended prematurely, with leg injury in ninth game... As senior, rushed for 939 yards and eight TDs on 169 carries, passed for 1,550 yards and 11 TDs, going 121 of 211 (57%)... Amassed 8,386 career yards of total offense - 3,006 rushing and 5,380 passing - accounting for 76 career TDs... Named Athlon Magazine Preseason All-American, Tom Lemming's Top 25 Quarterbacks in U.S., Prep Football Elite Eleven, PrepStar All-Atlantic Region, SuperPrep All-South Carolina, Greenville County Player of the Year, Conference Player of the Year, and High School Sports Report AAA All-State Player of the Year.

    Brad Anderson FB/LB 6-0 230 Ijamsville, Md. Urbana HS
    Chris Booker TE 6-4 225 Brandon, Miss. Northwest Rankin HS
    *Steven Brent OL6-3 278 Georgetown, Texas Georgetown HS
    *Grant Brigham WR6-0 170 Mountain Brook, Ala. Mountain Brook HS
    Ray Brown DL 6-2 270 Jackson, N.J. Jackson Memorial HS
    Ron Bullock RB5-11 215 New Orleans, La. Brother Martin HS
    Erik Davis WR/DB 6-2 180 Nashville, Tenn. Ezell-Harding HS
    Adam Dossett OL6-4 272 McComb, Miss. Parklane Academy
    Kwane Doster RB5-11 175 Tampa, Fla. Robinson HS
    Richard Freeman DE 6-5 240 Brentwood, Tenn. Brentwood HS
    Herdley Harrison OLB6-2 205 Marietta, Ga. Marietta HS
    Funtaine Hunter S/DB 6-3 205 Lowndes, Ga. Lowndes HS
    Greg Johnson P 6-1 190 Lilburn, Ga. Parkview HS
    Patrick Johnson PK5-11 170 Athens, Ala. Athens HS
    Kevin Joyce LB 6-3 205 Longwood, Fla. Lake Highland Prep
    Blake Luker OL6-5 300 Collinwood, Tenn. Collinwood HS
    DB 6-2 180 Detroit, Mich. Detroit Country Day
    Andrew Pace S/DB 5-11 185 Birmingham, Ala. Mountain Brook HS
    Mac Pyle OL6-4 285 Adairsville, Ga. Adairsville HS
    *Potential Instant Impact Players

  • Tagged: Georgia Tech, Buffalo, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Auburn, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Nevada, Missouri, Texas

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