Vanderbilt coach foresees football program becoming nation’s best

The minimum-enviable time slot for a head coach at SEC media days each and every 12 months is the one right after Nick Saban. Reporters are digesting what Saban and his Alabama contingent just mentioned with headphones in their ears and tiny interest paid to whomever is standing at the podium.

For the final past two a long time — and it is barely a coincidence — the position of adhering to up Saban has fallen on Vanderbilt coach Clark Lea.

The next-12 months Commodores coach — who performed baseball at Birmingham-Southern for a year in 2001 — might also have the toughest on-industry task in the SEC. His out-gunned method — formerly led by Derek Mason — has lost its previous 21 meeting video games, not possessing gained in its league due to the fact beating Missouri in Oct 2019.

But Lea, employed final calendar year immediately after serving as Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator, has superior hopes.

“We know in time Vanderbilt soccer will be the finest plan in the region,” Lea reported Tuesday.

What defines “best program” is a make a difference of debate, and in this scenario, Lea pointed towards creating skilled players as just one facet of that.

“We are on a quest to be the finest developmental software in the country,” he reported. “We want to established a program for our gentlemen to understand thriving professions in the NFL.”

Lea mentioned that Vanderbilt’s recruiting course includes 30 members in a “class broadly thought of to be the ideal in system history” that has “recruited into the gap that exists between us and our levels of competition.”

But turning out to be the nation’s best application will acquire time, reported Lea, who also opined at previous year’s media times that, “There’s no better system in the country than Vanderbilt soccer.”

Additional Lea on Tuesday: “As I claimed a 12 months in the past, there are no cheat codes, shortcuts, no hacks that will let this to take place overnight. This is still about going the lengthy, hard way, independent of the tendencies and headlines creating the most notice ideal now in faculty football.”

Alabama and Vanderbilt will each open SEC participate in when they satisfy on Sept. 24 in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama has gained its past 22 video games above Vanderbilt, most recently a 59- victory in Nashville five a long time back.

“We’re not fighting to acquire an SEC activity, we’re preventing to turn out to be a dominant power in just the convention,” Lea reported Tuesday. “Obviously, profitable in the SEC requires successful that very first recreation. But when that comes about, it is not likely to be a large celebration. We’re heading to rejoice everything at a large amount, but we’re going to change emphasis promptly to the up coming opponent since that is what winning courses do.

“I do not consider possession of nearly anything that transpired right before. I absolutely choose ownership of last season. We fell way quick of our anticipations. But we are only seeking to create the greatest variation of Vanderbilt football in 12 months two independent of our opponents.

“We consider if we can get to that degree of championship general performance within just this crew, that replicated about time we’re heading to have a lot of achievement.”

Mike Rodak is an Alabama beat reporter for Alabama Media Team. Abide by him on Twitter @mikerodak.