Staff Appreciation Day

Commodores continue practice, host employees

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt hosted its annual Staff Appreciation Day on Thursday afternoon as part of an eventful two-hour practice.

The Commodores split time between the John Rich Facility and the indoor complex and were rooted on by attending staff members.

“To see the number of Vanderbilt faculty and staff members who came out to watch our men, it gives them an idea that what they’re doing and how they represent the university is important,” head coach Derek Mason said. “Just like all of our colleagues on campus, we’re committed to excellence. The turnout was great. The men enjoyed it. We understand that this is one connected community. That’s what it’s about.”

Practice Notables

  • Incoming interim chancellor Susan R. Wente was in attendance alongside athletics director Malcolm Turner. Wente visited with the team following the practice.
  • Graduate transfer quarterback Riley Neal hit senior wideout Kalija Lipscomb for a 10-yard gain. The Yorktown, Indiana, native scrambled and spotted junior wide receiver Chris Pierce a few plays later.
  • Redshirt junior quarterback Deuce Wallace beat the defense for a major gain, finding redshirt senior tight end Jared Pinkney open for a 30-yard connection.
  • Redshirt junior linebacker Kenny Hebert broke through the line for a quarterback sack. The New Orleans native added a quarterback pressure during a one-minute drill to end practice.
  • Freshman back Keyon Brooks found a seam for a big gain. The following play, redshirt junior Jamauri Wakefield cut outside for nice yardage.
  • Redshirt freshman linebacker Elijah McAllister stuffed out the run, bringing down sophomore back Mitchell Pryor. One play later, the Rumson, New Jersey, native added a quarterback sack.
  • Senior kicker Ryley Guay drilled field goal tries of 54, 51, 48 and 45 yards.
  • Wallace located Amir Abdur-Rahman for 25 yards as part of a one-minute drill in which the offense looked to drive in the field when trailing by a touchdown. Two plays later, he found Wakefield in open space for another first down.

Commodores in the NFL
A Vanderbilt reunion has been taking place across town as the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans held their second day of joint practices on Thursday. Joejuan Williams, the Patriots’ 45th overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft and third-year player Adam Butler were positioned on the opposite sideline from Titans free-agent signee LaDarius Wiley. The teams will match up in both club’s second preseason game, taking place Saturday at 6 p.m. from Nissan Stadium.