August 10, 2007

Talent, rare line depth have Caldwell excited

He has five senior starters, one All-American, another All-Southeastern Conference player, a returning center and four experienced back-ups on the offensive line.

He has enough bodies to form three complete offensive lines, two of them with game experience.

But Vanderbilt offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell remembers days when his plight was quite different.

Specifically, Caldwell recalls his first spring practice in Nashville in 2002. "When we first started, we had seven offensive linemen in the program," Caldwell said.

It wasn't just Caldwell's first year in which his offensive line was paper-thin. Center Hamilton Holliday came along two seasons later, when the lack of bodies was still a major obstacle.

"It's hard, because you had guys going on your first team, but then, you had them double as a scout team, and it puts a lot of stress on them," Holliday recalled.

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