James Franklin Doesn’t Shy Away From Contact at Practice

By Adam Kramer   Aug. 16, 2011

He impressed a jam-packed room at SEC Media Days last month and shocked the college football world by hauling in three of Tennessee’s top prospects in his first few months on the job. Now, new Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin is even taking snaps at his own practices.

Although the fact that he’s choosing to play quarterback is certainly noteworthy, on Monday Franklin’s “participation” in his own practice reached new levels following his own interception.

Enter: your new favorite SEC coach. This courtesy of The Tennessean.

Franklin participated as a quarterback during a full period of practice against his defense, something that is becoming a somewhat familiar sight.

After Franklin was intercepted by LB Archibald Barnes on a pass over the middle, the coach gave chase toward the front left pylon as Barnes attempted to return the pick for a score. Sophomore DB Andre Hal was shielding Barnes when Franklin – not wearing any pads, mind you – put two arms into Hal and sent him flying out of bounds. It was a priceless moment.

“I didn’t know who it was (I hit),” Franklin said. “I was trying to find out who it was. It was fun. It was fun to get out there and compete with them and fly around and show them how competitive that we’re all going to be in this program … everyone.”

Given the fact that we’ve been forced to talk about just about anything but actual football leading up to the season, Franklin’s fantastic, and perhaps over-the-top competitiveness is a fresh step away from the latest expansion rumors.

Although Vanderbilt’s quarterback situation has been interesting to say the least since Franklin took over, perhaps he could throw on the pads if things get ugly early on and no one would notice.

Well, we certainly won’t tell.

(h/t College Football Talk)

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