Defense dominates leadership group for Vanderbilt football

Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 5:56pm
Staff reports

Proportionality of production apparently affected the perception of leadership on Vanderbilt’s football team.

Coach Bobby Johnson announced Thursday that four players had been elected captains for the 2010 season. Three of them came from the defense, which outperformed the offense for much of the previous fall.

Defensive tackles Adam Smotherman and T.J. Greenstone, linebacker Chris Marve and offensive lineman Joey Bailey were chosen based on voting by their teammates.

"We're talking about four guys that mean a great deal to this team, and will have a lot to say about the success we enjoy this year," Johnson said in a release announcing the choices. "I think their teammates recognize excellent leadership skills in Joey, Chris, T.J. and Adam.”

Smotherman, a fifth-year senior, is not guaranteed to play this fall because of a knee injury, which required reconstructive surgery, during spring drills.

Marve, a fourth-year junior, was the Commodores’ leading tackler in 2009 (he was second in the Southeastern Conference) and was second in 2008. He has started every game the past two seasons and has averaged 113 stops.

Greenstone, also a fourth-year junior, was named the team’s most valuable defensive lineman last season despite the fact that he started only one game. He was the only VU player with at least one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in 2009.

Bailey, a fifth-year senior, was the team’s backup center last fall after having played guard and tackle (with five starts) the previous year. He was the most experienced member of last year’s line who did not graduate.

"Each one of these guys combine leadership abilities with the football skills to produce on the field,” Johnson said. “I also think all four really stepped forward as leaders of our squad this spring."