Theo Horrocks has the
_ DETERMINATION EYES of March 2008
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table of contents 4 6
National Commodore Club Know Your Teammate
Adam Baker and Evan Dufaux Know your Commodores
Point of View
Supporting The Commodores
John Ebert Couple takes support to another level
11 Commodore Tidbits By the numbers
12 Well-Dressed Man Shan Foster has a knack for style
13 It’s My Turn — Rod Williamson Commodores shine off the field
16 Looking To Break Through Theo Horrocks looks to continue career
20 Quick Hits A look at Vanderbilt’s sports teams
21 Community Service Spotlight Anastasia Adam
22 Athletes Against Assault Organization stands up against violence
23 2008 Football Signing Class 21-member class hails from 11 states
24 The Last Look
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C O M M O D O R E N AT I O N
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VUCOMMODORES.COM Editorial Publisher: Vanderbilt University Editor-in-Chief: Ryan Schulz Director of Media Relations: Rod Williamson Designers: Jeremy Teaford Ryan Schulz
Digital Image Specialist: Julie Luckett Turner Photographers: Brandon Barca
Joe Fisher’s Daily Update Listen to what the Voice of the Commodores has to say about Vanderbilt on a daily basis. Fisher’s daily Vanderbilt updates on Nashville’s 104.5 The Zone are archived for your listening pleasure.
Shan Foster Site
Watch highlights, view photos, stats, and awards of senior guard Shan Foster. The site also includes newspaper articles on Foster and downloadable desktop wallpaper.
Daniel Dubois Steve Green Stan Jones Paul J. Levy John Russell
Contributors: Andy Boggs Chad Crunk John Ebert John Erck Larry Leathers Nick Petrone Thomas Samuel Chris Weinman
Administrative Interim Chancellor: Nicholas S. Zeppos
Around The Web
Download archived audio files to your computer or media device. Audio files available for download include postgame interviews, weekly press conferences, Joe Fisher’s daily updates and weekly radio interviews.
Each day, links to all the stories on the web relating to Vanderbilt athletics are posted on vucommodores.com. The links are also archived so you can go back and view stories from weeks past.
Vice Chancellor for University Affairs: David Williams II Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs: Michael J. Schoenfeld Exec. Director National Commodore Club: Jeff Ulmer
Vanderbilt University’s Mission, Goals and Values Vanderbilt University is a center for scholarly research, informed and creative teaching, and service to the community and society at large. Vanderbilt will uphold the highest standards and be a leader in the quest for new knowledge through scholarship, dissemination of knowledge through teaching and outreach, and creative experimentation of ideas and concepts. In pursuit of these goals, Vanderbilt values most highly intellectual freedom that supports open inquiry; and equality, compassion and excellence in all endeavors. Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action university. ON THE COVER: Theo Horrocks (Photo by Daniel Dubois)
Brighten up the desktop on your home computer by downloading exclusive Vanderbilt desktop wallpaper.
Follow the progress of Vanderbilt’s baseball, basketball, football and soccer games on Gametracker. Gametracker provides live stats of games in progress and is a great way to follow the action when you can’t attend the game.
POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to National Commodore Club, 2601 Jess Neely Drive, Nashville, TN 37212. SUBSCRIPTION: To subscribe to Commodore Nation, please contact the National Commodore Club at 615/322-4114. ADVERTISEMENT: To advertise with Commodore Nation, please contact Vanderbilt ISP Sports. Stacy Hall, General Manager 615/322-4468 email@example.com
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C O M M O D O R E N AT I O N
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C O M M O D O R E C LU B
NCC Benefits Include Great Seats
PHONE: 615/322-4114 vucommodores.com
MEN’S BASKETBALL VS. AUBURN
By Jeff Ulmer NCC Executive Director Philanthropy and intercollegiate sports can – and must – coexist. Many people say that they give to the National Commodore Club to “get” great seats, or premium parking, or to be eligible to purchase season or post season tickets. These incentives may be the catalysts for making those NCC gifts before June 30th each year, but the real reason the NCC exists is, well, … to provide great seats! The great seats I am referring to are, of course, the ones in the classrooms. Just as NCC gifts can provide benefits to Commodore sports fans, they provide more important benefits to student-athletes. Most of our student-athletes wouldn’t have the financial capability to attend Vanderbilt if not for the financial assistance the NCC provides. Your gifts to the NCC do provide great seats; they just happen to be in the classrooms of one of the finest academic institutions in the world. Help us perpetuate that message, and please give to support educational opportunities for our student-athletes. Your membership does matter, in so many ways!
Elysia and Derrick Wilcox pose with sons Derrick II and Denzel.
Former Vanderbilt coaches John Bostick and C.M. Newton.
Margie and Barry Goheen, Will and Jennifer Perdue, and Charlie Dahlem.
For more information please go to vucommodores.com or call 615/322-4114.
JOIN THE NCC OR RENEW TODAY! You should have recently received your membership renewal for the National Commodore Club. Please mail it in, call 615/322-4114, click vucommodores.com or stop by the office in the McGugin Center to make your gift. Every gift is allocated toward the goal of funding student-athlete scholarships. This year’s membership deadline is May 31. Thank you for your continued support of Vanderbilt Athletics. Your Membership Matters!
Vanderbilt’s top all-time 3-point shooters were recognized at the Auburn game on Feb. 2. They also enjoyed a reception before the game. Left to right – Sam Howard, John Brown (Shan Foster’s father), Frank Seckar, Barry Goheen, Anita Horne (Shan Foster’s mother), Vince Ford, Mario Moore, Matt Frejie, Chuck Moore, Drew Maddux, Scott Draud.
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IMPORTANT TICKET INFORMATION
FOOTBALL – You should be receiving your 2008 Vanderbilt Football season ticket renewal soon, if you haven’t already. The deadline is March 14. The six-game home schedule includes a Thursday night opener against South Carolina and conference games against Auburn, Florida and Tennessee. Rice and Duke are the non-conference opponents.
The 2020 Society comprises members of the National Commodore Club, age 40 and younger, who contribute at least $100 annually. If you have been giving to the NCC at this level and are younger than 41, you automatically are in the 2020 Society. The Society is a creation of the 2020 Advisory Committee, a group of young alumni committed to increasing young membership in the National Commodore Club and promoting VU Athletics. If you are a non-alumni member of the NCC and qualify for the 2020 Society but have not been notified, please contact Cal Cook at cal.cook@ vanderbilt.edu or 615/343-4878.
REMINDER – The football game against Rice has been moved to Saturday, Sept. 13.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL GAME AT FLORIDA
BASKETBALL – Expect basketball renewals in April with a May deadline.
SEC MEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT Vanderbilt’s SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament Headquarters will be the Hilton Atlanta Downtown. NCC Members Harvey Baxter, Burton NCC Members Joe Barrett, Cal Cook and Augst and former football player Nigel Harold Sutton made the trip to Gainesville Seaman get together at the game. for the women’s win over the Gators.
JOIN THE BLACK AND GOLD ENDOWMENT SOCIETY
MEN’S BASKETBALL GAME AT TENNESSEE
Vanderbilt Athletics and the National Commodore Club endeavor to endow all athletics scholarships. To help in that task, the NCC has created a new endowment level called the Black and Gold Society. Black and Gold Society members create an opportunity for a student-athlete while receiving full benefits of the Dudley Society with a five-year, $100,000 commitment.
For more information on the Black and Gold Society and Athletic Scholarship Endowments, please contact John Erck at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615/322-7922.
Former Vanderbilt baseball players Jensen Lewis and David Price attended Vanderbilt’s men’s basketball game at Tennessee.
MEN’S BASKETBALL GAME VS. LSU
NCC Members Marshall (Shag) Polk, Ridley Wills and Jim Hunt Sr. have a bite in the Admiral’s Club. NCC Members who give at the Vice Admiral level and above have access to the room at halftime of men’s SEC games.
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Lucy Jones (left) recognizes Hank Abbott and Rita Bradley for their gift of a Black and Gold Society scholarship for Commodore Athletics.
C O M M O D O R E N AT I O N
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Know Your Teammate
Favorite NFL Team
Favorite Sport Besides Tennis
Economics and History
Strongest Part Of Your Game
Favorite Fast-Food Restaurant
JOHN RUSSELL (PORTRAIT); PAUL J. LEVY (ACTION)
Evan Dufaux and Adam Baker
ow well do friends and teammates Adam Baker and Evan Dufaux know each other? We put the two to the test. First, each player was asked to answer nine questions about himself. After giving their own answers, each player was asked to guess how the other would answer each question to see who knows the other better.
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Commodores Cubed When asked how the other would respond to the same questions — here’s what they said:
BAKER ON DUFAUX Middle Name
Favorite Board Game Growing Up
First Job I Ever Had
Sweeping the floor at a barber shop
Working in a chocolate store called Chocolaterie Stam
Teaching swim lessons
Running individual basketball lessons
Most Memorable Sporting Event I’ve Watched
Bulls vs. Sonics in the 1996 NBA Finals
Watching Vanderbilt beat No. 1 Florida in basketball from the front row
Swimming at the 2004 Summer Olympics
Our team winning the SEC Tournament in 2007
Time My Alarm Goes Off
6:15 a.m. if I’ve got a morning run, no earlier than it has to otherwise
My internal alarm goes off at 8 a.m.
Favorite Will Ferrell Movie
Blades of Glory
I Wanted To Be _______ When I Was 10
A firefighter — It’s still my backup plan if grad school falls through
A basketball coach or a basketball player
If I Could Be Anywhere Right Now, I Would Be…
Someplace warm with my girlfriend
At the beach
Louisville, Ky. — my hometown
Cracklin’ Oat Bran
Caramel Nut Crunch
Janice Favorite NFL Team
Bucs Favorite Sport Besides Tennis
Philosophy Earliest Class
11 a.m. Strongest Part Of His Game
Serve Favorite Fast-Food Restaurant
He doesn’t like fast food Birthday
Sept. 8 TOTAL: 6
DUFAUX ON BAKER Middle Name
Neel Mom’s Name
Kim Favorite NFL Team
Titans Favorite Sport Besides Tennis
Economics and History Earliest Class
9 a.m. Strongest Part Of His Game
Serve Favorite Fast-Food Restaurant
Sept. 9 TOTAL: 7
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Point of View
By John Ebert Editor’s Note: Each month “Commodore Nation” will ask a varsity athlete to sound off on a point of personal interest. Ebert is a senior on Vanderbilt’s golf team. He is in graduate school working on his MBA.
anderbilt offers an endless number of opportunities for its students, allowing each the freedom to choose what they want to make out of their stay in Nashville. I have found that in my three- and half-year tenure, I have been able to take advantage of this luxury and see Vanderbilt from a much different vantage point. When I agreed to attend Vanderbilt and play on the golf team, I knew I probably would not be traveling with the team in my first season, thus resulting in a redshirt freshman season and four years of remaining eligibility. My prediction proved accurate and I made the most, both academically and athletically, out of my less travel-intensive schedule. In this first year, I learned of a program that allowed one to earn both their bachelor and master’s degrees in five years, something that immediately captured my interest. With the unbending support of my parents and friends, and in spite of some doubting naysayers along the way, I pushed myself toward my goal of excellence in both academics and golf. As a result, I gave up other opportunities that most other undergraduates enjoyed. For instance, I never had the chance to join clubs, a fraternity, or enjoy the many areas of Nashville. By the end of my junior year, my economics requirements were completed, I had taken the GMAT, and I had been accepted into the MBA program at the Owen Graduate School of Management. Although my goal was reached, I had no idea what I had gotten myself into! Playing an extremely time consuming sport such as golf, I knew that this wasn’t going to be easy. Fortunately, I played in several tournaments this fall. To say the least, the first few weeks at Owen were eye opening. I had passed the building every day for the past three years and never knew what went on inside. Now surrounded by people from all over the world, many with years of work experience, and others with incredible intellects, I was the only undergraduate and had no business experience. In five months, I have become accustomed to my new environment and have greater comfort than I ever expected. Focusing on finance, I have found an academic interest that has truly captivated me. I owe all of this to the fact that Owen has captured an outstanding mix of faculty and students, creating an educational environment that is second to none. As they say, you never know what tomorrow may bring, so make the most out of today. Vanderbilt has provided me the opportunity to do this every day while giving me the prospect and the preparation for the brightest tomorrow. Few places in the world could offer me the options to do what I am doing with the added prestige that accompanies Vanderbilt degrees and SEC athletics. In the end, I am confident that many others will continue to make the most out of Vanderbilt’s limitless opportunities, helping to enhance their lives into the future. ■
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Couple Takes Support To Another Level n sports there are many different levels of fans. There are fans who will check the scores, fans who will watch and listen to the games, fans who will attend occasional games and fans who have season tickets. Then there are fans like Hank Abbott and his wife, Rita Bradley, who are in a separate category.
Hank Abbott and Rita Bradley with Bobby Johnson.
The couple doesn’t just have season tickets to watch one of Vanderbilt’s teams, they have season tickets to watch four of Vanderbilt’s teams: football, baseball and men’s and women’s basketball. “It enriches our lives,” Abbott said of Vanderbilt athletics. “Some days when the team has done well, we’re probably happier than we would otherwise be or happier than the average person. When we lose, we are probably sadder than we would otherwise be. Either way, our lives
are enriched by the virtue of living our lives through a small crease of these gifted, talented, young people.” That type of passion for Vanderbilt is why the couple spends hours out of their week cheering for the Commodores at Vanderbilt Stadium, Memorial Gym and Hawkins Field. “It lets you relax, and it gets you outside yourself,” said Abbott, a 1972 Vanderbilt graduate. Recently, the couple took its support of Vanderbilt athletics to an even higher level with a $45,000 gift. “It was a way to more actively participate,” Abbott said of the gift. “Going and cheering is great and it is a wonderful part of it. The monetary investment just sort of tracked where our emotions are. We have a great deal of emotional investment in the teams, and it just seemed appropriate to make a commitment for a fi nancial investment.” A great deal of an emotional investment might be an understatement by Abbott when you consider that he hasn’t missed a home football game in 35 years. However, he is quick to point out that that kind of support is not for everyone. “I’m not saying it’s wholesome or healthy or that other people need to do it.” While the start of each season brings with it a new set of questions and uncertainties, one thing that is for certain is that Abbott and Bradley will be in their seats cheering on the Commodores. ■
C ORNER Q:
Onside Kick is a prospective student-athlete who is going to sign a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday to play football at Vanderbilt. The coaching staff would like to invite Onside’s parents to the press conference announcing the incoming recruiting class. Is this permissible?
No. NCAA Bylaw 22.214.171.124 states that an institution may make an announcement on the institution’s campus for the sole purpose of presenting at one time to the media the names of all prospective student-athletes who have signed a National Letter of Intent or accepted written offers of admission and/or financial aid from that institution, with the understanding that no prospective student-athletes (or their friends or relatives) may be in attendance.
Compliance questions? Please contact: Candice Storey Director of Compliance 615/322-7992 firstname.lastname@example.org
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George Midgett Compliance Coordinator 615/322-2083 email@example.com
John Peach Compliance Coordinator 615/343-1060 firstname.lastname@example.org
CO R N ER Tom Shaw Head Men’s Golf Coach
Shaw is in his second season as head coach of Vanderbilt’s men’s golf team. In his first season, Shaw led Vanderbilt to the NCAA Championships for just the third time in school history. Now in your second season, is there more of a comfort level with the team? Absolutely. I know a little more about what makes them tick. On the flip side, I think the players are certainly more comfortable with me and know what to expect on a day-to-day basis. How much has the success that Brandt Snedeker had last year helped your program? It has helped with the brand recognition of our golf team, so to speak. When Brandt’s name is mentioned on TV or in print, more often than not what follows is that he was a Vanderbilt student-athlete. I think the impact could be greater in future recruiting classes. We now can tell recruits that not only can you get a world-class education at Vanderbilt, but you can also prepare yourself for a possible PGA Tour career. Brandt is a prime example of that. You were the coach at Tulane during Hurricane Katrina, how trying of a time was that for you? It was certainly very challenging and forced me to deal with some situations that I was not expecting to ever be faced with. One thing the ordeal did show me, however, was that my approach in recruiting, of choosing character first, was correct. I had a group of young men that handled the whole situation with class and integrity beyond their years. They did what they were asked to do without complaint. How did you first get into coaching golf? After my professional golf career of seven years came to a close, I realized I did not want to leave behind the years of experience that I had accumulated in the game. Coaching was a natural fit because I wanted to share that knowledge with young golfers and also use my experiences as a former student-athlete to help guide them through a very important time in their lives. ■
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COM MODOR E
TIDBITS • Thirty-seven Vanderbilt student-athletes were named to the 2007-08 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll on Jan. 25. The 2007-08 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll is based on grades from the 2007 Spring, Summer and Fall semesters. Twentyseven of the honorees were from the football team, while 10 hailed from the soccer team. • Women’s Tennis Coach Geoff Macdonald earned his 400th career victory on Jan. 26 against Notre Dame. Before coming to Vanderbilt in 1995, Macdonald won 64 matches at Duke and 50 at LSU. • Former Vanderbilt women’s basketball players Carla Thomas and Chantelle Anderson were among 13 players selected by the Atlanta Dream in the WNBA Expansion Draft on Feb. 6. • Vanderbilt’s 41-point win over Kentucky on Feb. 12 matched the fifth-largest loss in Kentucky history and the Wildcats’ largest since losing by 55 in 1989. • The baseball team ranked No. 26 in the country in 2007 with an average attendance of 2,091. The number is remarkable when you consider that the listed capacity for Hawkins Field was 2,027 last season. • Vanderbilt’s lacrosse team placed a league-high 22 student-athletes on the sixth-annual American Lacrosse Conference Academic Honor Roll, as announced on Jan. 21. The honor roll includes student-athletes who maintained a GPA of 3.0 or better during the 2006-07 academic year. • Vanderbilt’s baseball team was picked to win the SEC in the 2008 SEC Preseason Coaches Poll released on Feb. 14.
The amount of points (93-52) Vanderbilt beat Kentucky by on Feb. 12 — Kentucky’s worst loss in SEC history.
The number of points scored by Shan Foster compared to that of Kentucky after Foster made a jumper with 14:28 to play in the game.
The number of states members of Vanderbilt’s 2008 football signing class hail from.
Members of Vanderbilt’s football team were invited to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine. Invited were Earl Bennett, Curtis Gatewood, Jonathan Goff and Chris Williams.
The population of metropolitan Nashville in millions.
The number number of of active active coaches coaches The in SEC women’s in SEC women’s basketballbasketball with 300 with 300 career Balcomb wins after career wins after Melanie Melanie Balcomb earned her 300th victory againstearned her3.300th victory against Georgia on Feb. Georgia on Feb. 3.
Student-to-faculty ratio at Vanderbilt.
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Well-Dressed Man t’s late on a Saturday night and Vanderbilt has just earned a victory over Auburn when Shan Foster returns to the court to visit with friends and family, who watched the senior score 16 points on 6-of11 shooting. While his teammates are mostly dressed in hooded sweatshirts or polos after the game, Foster comes out of the locker room looking like someone you’d see on the cover of GQ. Whether it is his favorite – the black pinstripe – or any one of his assortment of suits, which ranges “between 10 to 15,” Foster’s appearance can be summarized in one word: stylish. The tradition of wearing a suit after every home game dates back to Foster’s freshman year, but he believes the process began much earlier. He credits his parents for instilling in him the desire to dress professionally. “My mom and dad tried to instill in me that it was always important to look professional, and it’s just something that stuck with me,” Foster said. “The main reason (I started dressing up) was that my mom and my dad taught me to be professional in everything that I do. The way I speak, the way I dress, the way I carry myself of that sort.” Stuck, it certainly has. The conclusion of each game brings intrigue about what Foster will wear next. It also brings a new set of compliments from the many autographseekers and fans who swarm Foster when he returns to the court after each game. Foster’s propensity for style certainly is not lost among his teammates. In fact, they are as intrigued as anyone to see what custom suit Foster will pull out of his closet next. “He wears suits all the time, and you never know what he’s going to have on,” senior guard Alex Gordon said. “He dresses up for every game, and it is interesting to see what he is going to come in wearing.” Gordon also believes that Foster’s attire speaks to the character he has and the type of person he is. “He is a formal guy and he likes to be presentable, verbally and in the way he dresses, and I think that speaks of his character and the way his parents brought him up,” Gordon said. Foster’s fashionable appearance after home games has also brought a new set of challenges from his teammates.
STEVE GREEN (AUBURN); JOHN RUSSELL (LSU)
Foster after the LSU game.
Since his freshman year Foster has not only been battling the opposing team on the court, but he also has been battling his teammates for wardrobe supremacy. During his freshman year it was Mario Moore and Julian Terrell. Last season it was Derrick Byars. “Derrick and I (challenged each other) a couple of times,” Foster said. “Sometimes he’d beat me out and sometimes I’d beat him out. I remember that he had this white pinstripe suit that he’d wear and whenever he wore that it was just hands down. There wasn’t anything I could do to top that.” As for this season, Gordon and his teammates have received similar challenges from Foster, but if there is one thing they have learned, it is that challenging Foster to a fashion contest is one battle they can’t win.
“We wouldn’t compete with him for a minute,” Gordon said. “He has too many suits. He could wear a different suit for weeks straight.” Even though his teammates know they can’t compete with his wardrobe on a game-by-game basis, Foster’s stylish dress has led to more players wearing suits after home games. “Hopefully it is a tradition that is starting,” Foster said of his teammates dressing up. “Those are guys that have their own personalities and they kind of dress accordingly. Different guys wear different things for different reasons.” Although he says he doesn’t follow styles and fashion that closely, when you ask him about his collection of suits his vernacular makes you question your own knowledge of formal wear. With a collection that ranges from three-button to four-button to long suits, Foster’s collection is enough to dwarf that of most anyone else, but just where does he get these suits? “I have an aunt who owns a formal wear store, and she is the one who supplies me with all my suits,” Foster said. Like the majority of college seniors, Foster has no idea where he will end up after college. Whether he will be able to continue his basketball career in the NBA is yet to be seen, but if given the chance to play at the next level, Foster leaves little doubt that he will have no trouble living up to the NBA dress code set in place by NBA Commissioner David Stern. In fact, as his collection of suits continues to grow, he may become the new poster child for the dress code. ■
Foster addresses the media against Auburn.
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It’s My Turn By Rod Williamson don’t know about you but I can always use a little good news. Sometimes it seems that sports are awash in scandal. This certainly is not the case, but there is no doubt where the spotlight gets focused. Let’s take a different path today, a sunny road less traveled but which is making all the difference. For the second straight semester, over 300 Vanderbilt studentathletes combined to record a 3.0 grade point average last fall, while their composite community service continues to rise. You almost never will see this kind of information reported in mainstream media, mostly because it knows the public would rather read about lawsuits and arrests or what school some 16year-old prep phenom has eliminated from his recruiting list. But just for a couple minutes, we’re going to talk about the quaint notion of collegiate athletics and academics as potential partners. Here are some facts from the fall ’07 semester that you can be proud of:
• Our baseball team earned a squad GPA of more than 3.0 grade point for the first time • 42 members of the football team had 3.0 averages or better • Seven Commodores scored perfect 4.0 averages • 178 student-athletes – over 50% – had over 3.0 GPA’s • 67 ’Dores earned Dean’s List distinction • 10 teams had composite grades of 3.0 or more with men’s cross country (3.664) and women’s tennis (3.602) leading the way. These classroom feats occurred while the hours donated to community service have been rising at about a 30% clip. And speaking of academic achievements, last month the Nashville Vanderbilt club celebrated Vanderbilt’s stellar relationship with the 3-point shot. A dozen or more long-range sharpshooters dating back to 1986 came back to be remembered. Not only did they represent some of the finest shooters in NCAA basketball, every single one of them had earned a degree from Vanderbilt University. I would challenge any other major conference basketball program in the country to match that. Away from the fields of play, our Commodores are gearing up for a Habitat for Humanity project this month to help a Hurricane Katrina victim get back on her feet. Several teams already have indicated they are on board, with more getting involved each day. Helping build this house means these ’Dores will give up one or more weekends, adding on to their already crowded schedules. This would be in keeping with their fall community activities, where they collected nearly 1,000 pounds of food for the local Second Harvest Food Bank. A very successful student-run program is our Kids Zone. Last fall, nearly 2,500 area youngsters received free football tickets through Boys and Girls Clubs, Metro Parks Community Centers, Read to Achieve and other organizations. When the kids arrived on campus, members of various varsity teams interacted with them before kickoff. As the winter holidays drew near, the Commodores once again sponsored a Holiday Party for local elementary kids. Each child received a wrapped gift from Santa Claus, purchased by a student-athlete. This is truly a remarkable group of young people. There was once a time when the goal of a 3.0 composite grade point average seemed worthy but out of reach. Now it is settling into a lofty expectation and the sights are set on matching the overall student grade point average. We have once again realized that when you challenge a true champion, anything is possible. ■
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Horrocks Looks To Break Through hink of your favorite hobby and then imagine not knowing if you will ever be able to do that hobby again for the rest of your life. It’s hard to even fathom, isn’t it? That is the reality facing the almost 1,000 players eligible for the 2008 NFL Draft. With only 255 selections in April’s draft and even fewer free agent contracts to be had, the majority of draft-eligible players are fighting to keep playing the game they grew up thinking they’d play for the rest of their lives. Among those players facing an uncertain future is Vanderbilt defensive tackle Theo Horrocks. “It is just kind of surreal,” he said. “Football is what I have done my whole life, and now I’m not 100 percent sure that I’ll ever play in another game the rest of my life. I don’t like that, but that also drives me to work as hard as I can.” Having been passed over for All Star games and the NFL Combine, Horrocks knows that his fate very well may come down to the biggest day of his football career – Pro Day. “It is huge,” Horrocks says of Pro Day. “The way I look at it, it is the biggest job interview of my life.” Held at the majority of universities around the country, Pro Day is where NFL scouts visit college campuses to evaluate each school’s potential prospects through a variety of tests, including the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and bench press. At Vanderbilt, Pro Day is orchestrated by John Sisk, Vanderbilt’s director of strength and conditioning. This year, the event will be March 21, and Sisk is expecting between 50 and 100 scouts to be in attendance. “We should have more scouts here than when we did it with Jay (Cutler in 2006) just because we have such an array of positions,” Sisk said. For Horroks, Pro Day will provide one final opportunity to impress NFL scouts before April’s NFL Draft. “I’m used to being able to say that I have one more or two more seasons or there is always next year,” Horrocks said. “I didn’t get in an All Star game, so now all my focus is on Pro Day.” In order to prepare for Pro Day, Horrocks has been working out five or six days a week under the watchful eye of Sisk. Also working out with Horrocks have been Chris Williams (OT), Hamilton Holliday (C), Marcus Buggs (LB), Josh Eames (OG) and Gabe Hall (DT). Having worked with numerous players who have made it to the NFL during his time at Furman, Western Carolina, Clemson and now Vanderbilt, Sisk knows exactly what Horrocks needs to improve on to get to the next level. In fact, Horrocks has so much respect for Sisk that he turned down offers to work
DANIEL DUBOIS (WORKOUT); JOHN RUSSELL (KENTUCKY)
out at facilities across the country that specialize in training athletes for the NFL. Instead, Horrocks opted to work out under Sisk as he finishes his final 12 hours before graduating with a degree in human and organizational development this May. Had Horrocks opted to train elsewhere, he would not have been able to stay in school and finish his degree. “He (Sisk) knows what it takes, and he knows what I need to do,” Horrocks said. “He knows my body as well as I do. I could have gone and worked out with one of the different groups around the country, but
I feel a lot more comfortable with Coach Sisk and he knows my body and how to push me.” Horrocks’ preparation with Sisk began the day after Christmas and started with a heavy dose of time spent in the weight room. As time has progressed, Sisk has had Horrocks cut back his weight training and focus more on his speed and agility. “The big thing was that he lost a little weight after the season and we want to make sure we keep him right around 290 lbs.,” Sisk said. “He runs well with that, and we also don’t want to get him too big. As
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we get closer and closer to Pro Day, we’ll “Lamar Divens, who came here with me start trimming down the weight training (from Lincoln County HS), had all the big and doing more change of direction and offers from my team. I wasn’t necessarily speed work.” overlooked, but I didn’t get much attention On top of his play on the fi eld where he from SEC schools. I came in here and took was a stalwart on Vanderbilt’s defensive this opportunity to take a challenge, and I’ve line since his freshman season, Horrocks’ just worked hard and I feel like I’ve worked reputation as a hard worker and great lock- myself into where I’m at today.” er room leader are intangibles that could Having the odds stacked against Horgo a long way toward getting a look at the rocks may turn out to be a positive accordnext level. ing to Thompson. “Theo’s been a hard worker his whole ca“He’s the type of kid that if you tell him reer, and I feel strongly he is going to have he’s not as good as the next, he’s going to an opportunity to make it to the next level,” prove that he is,” Thompson said. “That unSisk said. “He has the derdog effect makes intangibles that you him try to achieve a want in a hard-working lot more.” player. He is never satFor as much as isfied, and he’s never Horrocks would like backed down from a to think he will be challenge since the playing in the NFL day he walked in here. next season, he un“He’s a loyal teamderstands that there mate, and I’m speakis a chance that he ing as a coach seeing won’t, but he would him lead and seestill like to keep playing guys on the team ing football. gravitate toward him. “I just want to keep He just loves football, playing football. The and you can tell it is NFL is obviously the important to him.” ultimate goal, so that Like Sisk, Louis Horrocks finished second on the team among is my focus right now. Thompson, Horrocks’ defensive linemen with 39 tackles in 2007. Come April when the coach at Lincoln NFL Draft is, I’ll cerCounty High School in Fayetteville, Tenn., tainly check out other options if the NFL knows first-hand the type of teammate Hor- doesn’t work.” rocks is. And if he gets that phone call on draft day “He’s always been a team player,” Thomp- or a few days later telling him he’s got a free son said “He’s just been a hard worker since agent contract? when he came into the program.” “It would be amazing. It has been my Although he was passed over for the All dream my whole life, and it would just be Star games and the NFL Combine, Hor- the best feeling in the world.” rocks keeps an upbeat attitude and looks However, if Horrocks never gets to play at being overlooked as more of a positive another snap or if it is one year or 15 years than a negative. from now when Horrocks finally retires from “Going to the Senior Bowl or any other All the game he loves, Sisk has no doubt that Star game would have been great, but I just he will have put every ounce of energy in his look at it as a blessing.” “I had more time to body into making himself a better player. train for what I need to be doing at Pro Day “If he doesn’t get a chance, he’s going to than if I would have had to travel.” get his degree and he is going to be able Having been snubbed by the All Star games to do something and move on with his life,” also has taken Horrocks down a familiar road Sisk said. “And if that does happen, he’ll be and one that reminds him of his senior year good at whatever he decides to do. of high school – that of an underdog. “Some guys that don’t give it their all say, “Coming out of high school, I was in the ‘I wish I would have done that. I wish I would underdog-type role as well,” Horrocks said. have played that hard. I wish I would have worked that hard.’ I think when he looks back years from now when he Vanderbilt’s Combine Participants just finished his last NFL game, he’ll Earl Bennett (WR) look back and say, ‘I did my best.’ If Jonathan Goff (LB) its next week, next year or 10 years Curtis Gatewood (DE) from now, I think he’s a young man Chris Williams (OT) that is going to say, ‘I did everything I could. I left it all out there and I’m Vanderbilt’s All-Star Game Participants satisfied with it.’” Jonathan Goff (LB) East-West Shrine Game Whether Horrocks will get a Curtis Gatewood (DE) East-West Shrine Game chance to live out a dream and conChris Williams (OT) Senior Bowl tinue to play the game he loves is yet to be seen, but whether he’s
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Horrocks has spent between five and six days per week training for Pro Day.
playing defensive tackle or trying to sell snow shovels in Florida, there is little doubt that Horrocks will do the job to the best of his ability. “He could go out and be a mailman and he’s going to be the best one,” Sisk said. “Whatever he ends up doing, he is going to be the best that he can be at it, and I truly believe that.” ■
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Quick Hits MEN’S SPORTS Baseball • The Commodores opened
their 2008 season on Feb. 22 against Oregon State. • Vanderbilt was ranked third in Baseball America’s PreTim Corbin season Poll. • The Commodores were also ranked No. 8 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Preseason Poll and No. 11 in Collegiate Baseball’s rankings. • Third baseman Pedro Alvarez was named Preseason Player of the Year by Rivals. com. Also earning preseason first team All-America honors from Rivals.com were outfielder Dominic de la Osa and shortstop Ryan Flaherty. • Baseball America chose Alvarez to its preseason first team All-America list, de la Osa to its second team and Flaherty to its third team. • Vanderbilt was picked to win the SEC in the 2008 SEC Preseason Coaches poll.
Basketball • Senior guard Shan Foster
was one of 30 players named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Watch List on Jan. 28. Foster is one of just three Kevin players from the SEC on the Stallings list. • Vanderbilt will play South Florida in the 2008 BIG EAST/SEC Invitational on Dec. 16 at Nashville’s Sommet Center. Tennessee will also play Marquette on the same day at the Sommet Center. • Foster was selected as one of 10 finalists for the 2008 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award on Feb. 8. • Vanderbilt’s 41-point win (93-52) over Kentucky on Feb. 12 was UK’s largest loss in SEC history.
Football the signing of 21 high school seniors to National Letters of Intent on Feb. 6. •Sixteen of the 21 signees Bobby served as captains for their Johnson high school teams last year. •The members of the signing class hail from 11 states. • Earl Bennett (WR), Jonathan Goff (LB), Curtis Gatewood (DE) and Chris Williams (OT) were invited to the NFL Combine.
• Vanderbilt’s 2008 signing class of Charlie Jones and Alex DiValerio was ranked No. 20 by tennisrecruiting. net in their Winter Recruiting Ian Class Rankings released on Duvenhage Jan. 28. • Freshman Alex Zotov was named SEC Freshman of the Week on Jan. 29 for his performance against Michigan State. Zotov clinched Vanderbilt’s 4-3 win over the Spartans by winning the decisive match. • Senior Ryan Preston was named SEC Player of the Week on Feb. 19. The honor was the first by a Commodore since 2003. • Vanderbilt’s 5-0 start to the season was its best since starting 7-0 in 2005.
• Head coach Ronnie Coveleskie announced the addition of seven student-athletes in the spring signing period on Feb. 15. Ronnie • The class is comprised of Kate Coveleskie Goldin (Herndon, Va.), Emily Grant (Adamstown, Md.), Elizabeth Lillie (Rochester, Mich.), Bridget Lohmuller (St. Louis, Mo.), Chelsea Stewart (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Candace West (Doraville, Ga.) and Lyndsey Wilcox (Arlington, Va.).
WOMEN’S SPORTS Basketball • With Vanderbilt’s win over Georgia on Feb. 3, Melanie Balcomb became just the fifth active coach in the SEC with 300 wins. Melanie Balcomb • Vanderbilt’s 45-point win at Alabama on Feb. 10 matched the largest margin of victory over an SEC opponent in the Melanie Balcomb era. • Freshman Hannah Tuomi earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors on Jan. 21.
Swimming • In the Commodores’ regular season finale against Georgia Tech and Emory on Jan. 26, freshman Jennifer Molchan placed third in the Jeremy 200-yard freestyle and third Organ in the 500-yard freestyle. • In the same meet against Georgia Tech and Emory, freshman Leigh-Ann Axt saw her streak of winning at least one race in every dual meet come to an end. She finished second in the 200-yard butterfly and 100-yard butterfly.
Commodores compete in two events during March. • The Columbia 300 Music City Classic — the team’s John lone home match will be Williamson March 15-16 in Smyrna, Tenn. • Tara Kane was named to the all-tournament team after finishing third at the Morgan State Bowling Invitational.
• Junior Courtney Ulery was named SEC Player of the Week on Jan. 29 for her play against Michigan and Notre Dame. Ulery won both of her Geoff singles matches and doubles Macdonald matches against Michigan and Notre Dame. • Vanderbilt’s 2008 signing class of Chelsea Preeg, Heather Steinbauer and Jacqueline Wu was ranked No. 6 by tennisrecruiting.net in their Winter Recruiting Class Rankings released on Feb. 4. • Three of Vanderbilt’s five wins in January came against teams ranked in the top 38.
Track and Field
Bowling • The
• The team placed a league-
• Bobby Johnson announced
• The Commodores opened their spring slate on Feb. 17 at the John Hayt Collegiate Invitational. • Vanderbilt plays in three tournaments in March.
high 22 student-athletes on the sixth-annual American Lacrosse Conference Academic Honor Roll. Cathy • Six of Vanderbilt’s matches Swezey in March are at home. • The team opened the season with a 20-4 rout of Cincinnati on Feb. 17. Nine different players scored goals in the win.
Women’s Golf • Vanderbilt opened its spring slate on Feb. 25 at the Arizona Wildcat Invitational. • The tournament was a Greg homecoming for VU Head Allen Coach Greg Allen, who was the head coach at Arizona before to taking over at Vanderbilt.
• Junior Lauryn Smith won the long jump title at the Middle Tennessee Classic on Jan. 26. Smith won the event with a leap of 18’10”. The event title D’Andre was the first of the season for Hill the Commodores. • Kristabel Doebel-Hickok, Taylor Jackson and Lauryn Smith recorded personal best times Feb. 10-11 at the Meyo Invitational. • Doebel-Hickok finished the 5,000 meters in 17:24.08, which ranks as the fourth-fastest indoor time in school history. Jackson ran the second-fastest indoor time in the 60 meters (7.81). Smith finished the 200meter dash in 25.44, good for the sixthfastest indoor time in the event. • Freshman distance runner Rita Jorgensen finished third in the mile and seventh in the 800 meters at the Tyson Invitational.. • Mallory Hitt finished third in the pentathlon at the LSU Combined Events.
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The Month Ahead
COMMUNITY SERVICE SPOTLIGHT
Men’s Sports 3.1 3.2 3.4 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 3.11 3.12 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.19 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.25 3.26 3.28 3.29 3.30
Iowa (Music City Classic) Xavier (Music City Classic) Louisville Illinois-Chicago Illinois-Chicago Illinois-Chicago Illinois-Chicago Western Carolina Western Carolina South Carolina South Carolina South Carolina Lipscomb at Alabama at Alabama at Alabama Belmont Middle Tennessee State Arkansas Arkansas Arkansas
4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 2pm 1pm 4pm 4pm 6pm 2pm 1pm 6pm 6:30pm 4pm 2pm 6pm 6pm 6pm 3pm 1pm
Basketball 3.1 3.5 3.8 3.13-16 3.20-30 3.27-30
at Arkansas Mississippi State at Alabama at SEC Tournament (Atlanta) at NCAA Tournament (First and Second Rounds) at NCAA Tournament (Regional Semis and Finals)
3pm 7pm 6pm TBA TBA TBA
Golf 3.2-4 3.14-15 3.28-30
at Seminole Intercollegiate Kauai Collegiate Cup at Furman Intercollegiate
All Day All Day All Day
South Carolina at Northwestern at Arkansas at LSU at Auburn Alabama Ole Miss Mississippi State
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Tennis 3.2 3.4 3.7 3.9 3.21 3.23 3.28 3.30
Women’s Sports Basketball 3.2 3.6-9 3.22-25 3.29-4.1
Alabama at SEC Tournament (Nashville) at NCAA Tournament (First and Second Rounds) at NCAA Tournament (Regional Semis and Finals)
2pm TBA TBA TBA
Bowling 3.1-2 3.15-16
at Holiday Classic Columbia 300 Music City Classic
All Day All Day
at Seminole Intercollegiate Kauai Collegiate Cup at Furman Intercollegiate
All Day All Day All Day
Golf 3.2-4 3.14-15 3.28-30
Lacrosse 3.1 3.4 3.8 3.12 3.15 3.17 3.23 3.30
Duquesne Virginia Tech at North Carolina Boston University New Hampshire Cornell 3pm Penn State at Northwestern
1pm 1pm 11am 5pm 1pm 12pm 1pm
at Last Chance Meet
at South Carolina at Georgia Tech Arkansas LSU Furman 2:30pm Florida International Auburn 2:30pm at Alabama at Ole Miss at Mississippi State
12pm 1:30pm 2:30pm 12pm
Tennis 3.2 3.5 3.7 3.9 3.13 3.14 3.21 3.23 3.28 3.30
2:30pm 1pm 4pm 1pm
ANASTASIA ADAM lacrosse A sophomore on the lacrosse team, Adam is actively involved with the Children’s Hospital and the Race for the Cure. Adam is a native of Severna Park, Md., and is majoring in human organizational development with a minor in managerial studies.
What type community service work are you involved with? I help out at the Children’s Hospital close to every month. Additionally, I have both participated and volunteered in the Race for the Cure for the past seven years both in Nashville and Baltimore. Why is it important for you to do community service? I feel as though I have been so lucky throughout my life that it is important for me to help out others who are not as fortunate as I am. How good of a feeling is it when you are doing community service? It is great to feel that you have made an impact on a person’s life or have helped them in some way. To see the faces of the patients at the Children’s Hospital light up when you come in the room is truly remarkable. How much does community service make you realize how fortunate you are? Especially being a healthy athlete and going to the hospital to help out, I feel so blessed. The things that I take for granted every day such as practice and running suddenly make me realize how lucky I am to be able to play a sport on a day-to-day basis. When you visit the Children’s Hospital, what do you do while you are there? We help out in the playrooms on the various floors. Normally I do the teenage floor where patients will come in and do arts and crafts or other activities with you. Sometimes they just want to talk or tell their story, so listening is very important. For me it is always inspiring to hear their personal stories. It is truly amazing how brave even young children can be. Did you have experience with community service in high school? At the high school I attended we helped out a great deal with the Boys and Girls Club. I really enjoy working with kids, and the organization that we worked with was always so grateful for the services that we provided them.
Track and Field 3.3-7 3.28-29
at Last Chance Meet at Yellow Jacket Invitational
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All Day All Day
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Student-Athletes Take A Stand Against Violence n conjunction with Project Safe, Vanderbilt athletics has taken its own approach in opposition to violence against women by creating Athletes Against Assault. Formed this past August, Athletes Against Assault is an organization comprised of student-athletes from each of Vanderbilt’s 15 athletic teams, as well as advisers from the athletic department (Alison Bush, Neal Clark and Brian Reese) and Project Safe (Vicky Basra and Kacy Silverstein). The group meets every other Monday to discuss ways to challenge cultural values that support violence against women and ways to hold individuals accountable who perpetrate these crimes. Located at the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center, Project Safe is an organization that strives to prevent violence against women on Vanderbilt’s campus and provides services such as education, advocacy and response service for victims, as well as outreach. Despite playing different sports and hardly knowing each other before being selected for the organization by each of their head coaches, the student-athletes have come together to serve one common purpose: “We are just trying to raise awareness between our teammates and the rest of campus, and see if we can stop violence against women,” said Alan Metcalfe, a senior on the men’s basketball team. With two other organizations on campus already dedicated to the same cause as Athletes Against Assault (Men Promoting a Solution and Peer Educators of Project Safe), Project Safe looked to athletics to help spread the word around campus even more quickly. “We really wanted to have more voices on campus who are talk-
(Top) Athletes Against Assault will perform Body & Sold at Sarratt Cinema on March 31. (Left) Alan Metcalfe traces his hand on a “These Hands Don’t Hurt banner.” (Above) Shan Foster is one of many student-athletes who have contributed to projects with Athletes Against Assault.
ing about violence against women, and we know athletes are well respected and are a great way to get that message out on a larger scale,” Silverstein said. Although the organization is still in its infancy, the group has already accomplished quite a bit and is growing in size. Just this past fall, the organization participated in Take Back the Night, These Hands Don’t Hurt, The Clothesline Project and Mentors in Violence Prevention training, to name a few. However, none of those projects may be as influential as the one that will take place at 8 p.m. on March 31 when the group will perform the reading of “Body & Sold” in front of all of Vanderbilt’s student-athletes at Sarratt Cinema. “Body & Sold” is a documentary-style play that aims to raise awareness of the issues of child abuse, runaways and child prostitution. Through the performance of “Body & Sold” and the other aforementioned projects, Athletes Against Assault hopes to spread the word across campus that others should join them in standing up against violence against women. Helping Athletes Against Assault spread their message is the way the rest of the student body views the student-athletes as leaders on campus. That type of respect has Bush, Vanderbilt’s CHAMPS/Life Skills Coordinator, believing that the message will spread throughout campus. “Athletes are viewed as leaders on campus, so if they are setting good examples then maybe that can help influence others.” Despite the organization still being fairly new, Silverstein has been pleased with the success the group has experienced. “I think it has been really successful and that is all because the students that are on the task force,” she said. “They are interested and passionate about this issue and they have really grown as a group in terms of feeling a responsibility for their community.” Although they were unsure what they were getting into at first, the student-athletes in the organization have come to embrace what they are doing. “It’s just been a wonderful experience getting to talk with fellow athletes and getting to hear their opinions, share my opinions and become more aware of what’s going on not only on our campus, but around the country,” senior women’s golfer Liebelei Lawrence said. Senior men’s tennis player Evan Dufaux added: “It is an area that I knew nothing about coming in, so it is good to get the education and pass it along to my teammates.” While there are numerous organizations throughout the country against assault, Athletes Against Assault is unique because it is it is the only known organization that is made up of both male and female student-athletes. Although the organization is still just in its first year of existence, the success it has experienced has people looking toward the future. “Depending on how successful this is (at Vanderbilt), we’d like to branch out to other campuses,” Bush said. “That is something we are looking at for possibly next year and beyond.” Lawrence hopes that they are at the forefront of a trend that spreads around the Southeastern Conference. “We are the first committee in the SEC, so we hope it will spread to other schools in the SEC beyond just Vanderbilt.” ■
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Johnson Announces 2008 Football Signing Class ver the course of the past decade, National Signing Day has evolved into one of the most anticipated days for college football fans across America. For as much excitement surrounding signing day, there also is an equal amount of uncertainty that encompasses the inexact science known as recruiting. Take for example, the four Vanderbilt players, who were invited to the NFL Scouting Combine this February: Earl Bennett, Jonathan Goff, Curtis Gatewood and Chris Williams. Of those players, none received more than three stars by Rivals.com. In fact, Bennett received just one star, while Williams and Gatewood were twostar recruits. Hoping to bring in another group such as the quartet just mentioned, Head Coach Bobby Johnson announced the signing of 21 high school seniors to National Letters of Intent on Feb. 6. “We’re excited about our recruiting class that we brought in,” Johnson said. “I think our assistant coaches did a fantastic job of meeting our needs and bringing in players that we feel are very useful to our program.” The class includes 14 defensive players, including seven defensive linemen. “We did lose a lot of defensive linemen this year,” Johnson said. “We lost some outstanding linebackers. We felt we needed to be diligent in replacing those guys.” ■
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La Vergne, Tenn.
La Vergne HS
Mortimer Jordan HS
St. Pius X HS
Naperville Central HS
Memphis Univ. School
Park City, Utah
Park City HS
Tarpon Springs, Fla.
East Lake HS
Camden Co. HS
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The Last Look
Kentucky’s bench can’t bear to watch Vanderbilt’s 41-point romp (93-52) of the Wildcats on Feb. 12 — the program’s worst loss since 1989.
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Published on Dec 12, 2008