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Clark Lea surprises no one, names Ken Seals the starting QB for East Tennessee State

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But Lea also says Mike Wright will play a role.

NCAA Football: SEC Media Days Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Yep, football season is almost here.

It’s game week, so Clark Lea took to Zoom (as we do things in 2021) for his first press conference of the season, and the first pregame press conference of his Vanderbilt tenure. As I write this, we’re still waiting for the depth chart to be released. Summing up Lea’s comments ahead of the game:

Opening Statement

  • We’re thrilled to be here for game week and excited for preparation ahead.
  • Announces that Daevion Davis and Elijah McAllister have been elected as captains by the team. Names off a bunch of other players as the Leadership Council (I didn’t catch all the names.) Notable that Lea refers to this as “Team 1.”

Questions

  • Question from Chris Lee: going into your first game, what are you most excited about and what’s your biggest concern? “It’s going to be surreal as those gold helmets are lined up to take the field.” First time that we’ll be measured against an opponent; there’s a lot that we need to be on top of as a program. We’re going to have to have a heightened focus on execution. There will be a lot of learning.
  • Question from Robbie Weinstein: do you notice any change of energy going into game week? “The players are ecstatic, they feel like they’ve been working for eight months to get to this moment.” It’s game one in a long season.
  • Question from Aria Gerson: have you named a starting quarterback? Clark Lea announces that it’s Ken Seals. He does say that Mike Wright is one of our best 11 on offense.
  • Question from Joe Rexrode: following up on Mike Wright, what kinds of things is he going to do? “Mike has earned the right to play snaps, not relegated to his own or a situation.” Says he has the skills to function as a one. We’re planning on him to have a role, but we don’t want to relegate him to a “situational” role. (Ed. note: please don’t pull a Wade Freebeck.)
  • Question from Chris Lee: where do you get your inspiration for how to go about things, do you call Brian Kelly, do you talk to Tim Corbin? All of the above. I have a lot that I’ve learned from head coaches I’ve worked for, Brian Kelly, Dave Clawson, John Stigelmayer at South Dakota State (Ed. note: I have no idea how to spell that name.) What works for other programs doesn’t necessarily work for this 2021 Vanderbilt football team, but I’m pulling from all the learning during my career.
  • Question from Robbie Weinstein: do you have updates on Cole Clemens, Dan Dawkins, and (I didn’t catch the last one)? As of now, they’re available.

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