Spring practice was the next step in Mason’s transition. He no longer needed to sell his staff to new players. Now, his goal was selling a philosophy. On the field, Mason and defensive coordinator David Kotulski installed Mason’s preferred 3-4 scheme in a unit with only three returning starters. Key defensive ends like Caleb Azubike and Kyle Woestmann switched to linebacker. Outside linebacker Darreon Herring, who emerged as a difference-maker in 2013, moved to the inside. The 4-3 approach served as Vanderbilt’s base for three seasons under Franklin, so players expected some growing pains. Said Herring: "It was basically a fresh start."