We’re four measly days away from Vanderbilt’s season opener against Middle Tennessee. #4 belongs to two Commodores. Junior WR Donaven Tennyson has taken over the old Darrius Sims role of “small fast guy that the coaching staff can’t seem to figure out how to use properly”; in spite of reports of blazing speed, Tennyson has managed to get just 15 touches in two years — but those 15 touches have resulted in 207 total yards. Redshirt freshman Randall Haynie will look to make an impact at cornerback this season.
Vanderbilt University Chancellor Nick Zeppos’ silence about Vanderbilt Stadium... continues. But you should know that Vanderbilt is interested in improving your fan experience with sliced pizza! (Okay, adding a Puckett’s stand to the concourse is a good thing.)
Derek Mason writes the first piece in his RTI Journey series, which is short but sweet. And in a very real sign that football season is here, Mason will have his first press conference of the season today at noon CT. You can watch it on the SEC Network+, though we’ll also bet that vucommodores.com will have a stream of some sort.
Speaking of press conferences, MTSU coach Rick Stockstill had his yesterday, which you can listen to here.
Vanderbilt cross country, which opens the season at the Belmont Opener at Percy Warner Park this weekend, was picked 5th (women) and 11th (men) in the SEC in the coaches’ preseason poll.
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Off the West End
Around the SEC: Everybody’s naming a QB! Alabama released its depth chart and wants you to know that its starting quarterback will be Tua Tagovailoa OR Jalen Hurts... which, you know, really narrows it down. Arkansas named Cole Kelley as its starting QB. At Florida, it’s Feleipe Franks, who once threw a Hail Mary to beat Tennessee. Kentucky will go with JUCO transfer Terry Wilson at QB. LSU announced Ohio State graduate transfer Joe Burrow as its starter. Tennessee won’t commit to a starter just yet — it’s either going to be Jarrett Guarantano or Keller Chryst, which is a ... very different dilemma than the one Nick Saban faces. And Texas A&M will open the season with Kellen Mond as its starting QB.
As far as everyone else, well, everyone else already knew who their starter was going to be (Jarrett Stidham at Auburn, Jake Fromm at Georgia, Jordan Ta’amu at Ole Miss, Drew Lock at Missouri, Jake Bentley at South Carolina, and of course Kyle Shurmur at Vanderbilt.) Well, with one exception. Mississippi State announced on Monday that purported starting QB Nick Fitzgerald will miss the season opener against Stephen F. Austin while he serves a one-game suspension. Backup Keytaon Thompson will start against SFA.
In the stupidest story of the offseason, a former Texas A&M linebacker made a rash of accusations against the new coaching staff in an effort to be immediately eligible to play at Arizona — then was summarily dismissed from Arizona after a video surfaced of him making racist remarks about teammates.
Manu Ginobili announced his retirement on Monday after 16 years with the San Antonio Spurs.
Nashville moved closer to getting an MLS stadium on Monday night. (Please don’t move Vanderbilt football there.)
BREAKING: after a more than 4 hour public hearing, Metro Council votes 20-9, to approve rezoning for 10 acres of mixed use development by the proposed MLS stadium at the fairgrounds. Final vote on all stadium related bills will be Sept. 4.— Emily Luxen (@NC5_EmilyLuxen) August 28, 2018