Somebody once summed up offensive line coach Cameron Norcross’s philosophy as “err on the side of kicking the shit out of someone.”
Vanderbilt’s offensive line did quite a bit of that in 2016. This year, the middle of the offensive line has to replace starting center Barrett Gouger, but the team’s starting guards both return, as does a lot of good depth. Vanderbilt suffered a minor blow when Cole Hardin transferred during the summer, but the Commodores should be in good shape in the interior of the offensive line.
Bruno Reagan, redshirt junior: Reagan was one of Derek Mason’s first recruits at Vanderbilt, a late addition to the 2014 recruiting class who came aboard after Mason took the job. Reagan started a couple of games at the end of 2015 as a redshirt freshman; last year, he started all 13 games at right guard.
This year, rumors out of camp are that Reagan will slide over to center to replace Gouger. That leaves a hole at right guard, though there are a few candidates to fill that hole.
Ean Pfeifer, redshirt sophomore: As a redshirt freshman, Pfeifer took over as the starter at left guard when Delando Crooks got hurt early in the season and never relinquished it. Pfeifer’s performance was good enough to be named to Athlon’s Freshman All-SEC team. Pfeifer enters the season penciled in as the starter at left guard.
Sean McMoore, redshirt freshman: There was some talk entering last season that McMoore (also known as Sean Auwae, or Sean Auwae-McMoore) would be Vanderbilt’s starting center as a true freshman. That didn’t happen as Barrett Gouger won the job, and McMoore ended up redshirting last year. This year, he’s in the mix to start at center or right guard if Bruno Reagan (as has been rumored) moves to center this season.
Egidio DellaRipa, redshirt junior: DellaRipa saw his first and, to this point, only action as a Commodore in the Tennessee State game last year. He enters this season as a depth option in the middle of the line.
Saige Young, sophomore: Young was a late addition to the 2017 recruiting class, as he’d been planning to spend a second year at Dodge City CC but learned he was eligible to transfer to a four-year school and picked Vanderbilt. He could take a redshirt year this year to gain experience.
Darion DeBrossard, redshirt sophomore: Vanderbilt can’t seem to figure out which side of the line they want DeBrossard on. He spent a redshirt year as a defensive tackle, then appeared as an offensive lineman last year. Now he’s listed as an offensive lineman, with a defensive lineman’s uniform number (96.)
Braden Kopp, redshirt freshman: Kopp took a redshirt year in 2016, unsurprisingly. Listed at 285 pounds on the roster, he’s one of the smallest offensive linemen on the team and might need another year in the weight room before he’s ready to contribute.
Grant Miller, freshman: If Kopp needs to add more weight, Miller really needs to add more weight. He enters the program listed at 6’4” and 260 pounds, well below the size he’ll need to be to contribute on an SEC offensive line. That said, the son of former NFL offensive tackle Fred Miller probably has some room to grow.