Phil Steele doesn't think much of the second year of Derek Mason's rebuilding process in Nashville. He pegged only two Commodores as All-SEC talent in his annual preseason awards.
Only two Vanderbilt football players earned All-Conference honors on the four-deep listing released Monday. Special teams standout/defensive back/running back/sous chef Darrius Sims got the call as the league's top kick returner. Tight end Steven Scheu, Vandy's leading receiver in 2014, was a fourth-team selection. No team in the conference had fewer all-SEC choices than the Commodores.
Vanderbilt didn't put a single defensive player on Steele's list - a number that could change significantly after Derek Mason's first season as the team's defensive coordinator. The Commodores have several standouts who could place themselves among the league's elite in 2015. Adam Butler, Nifae Lealao, Caleb Azubike, Jay Woods, Zach Cunningham, Stephen Weatherly, Darreon Herring, and Nigel Bowden are all candidates to earn All-SEC recognition if they can live up to their potential this fall.
Things aren't as clear for the Commodore offense. Vanderbilt has a young workhorse tailback in Ralph Webb, but instability at quarterback stands to ground the Vandy attack in 2015. Fortunately, a new offensive coordinator, veteran offensive line and a top notch tight end should add more excitement and unpredictability to Dudley Field this fall.
For the full listing, including zero Tennessee players on the first team, visit PhilSteele.com: