Defensive tackle depth has been a real concern for Vanderbilt heading into 2013. Specifically, when James Franklin announced Jared Morse was no longer on the team last March due to violating an unspecified team rule, things got real and lack of depth was exposed at tackle. Franklin did, however, leave the door open for Morse to return.
Morse missed the entire spring taking care of what he had to, and now he’s back with the team, Franklin confirmed to the Tennessean.
“He’s back,” Franklin said. “He was not with us for a number of reasons, and he had some obligations that he had to fulfill. He fulfilled them and he’s back. To me, we’re in the business of educating kids on the field and off. And this was a great opportunity for Jared to kind of grow up, and he’s done that.
“We couldn’t be happier about it. I know he’s very, very appreciative of being back. You’re talking about a guy who’s played at least two years and been productive. And going through that experience, leaving and now coming back, he’s hungry, he’s humble, he’s motivated and he’s appreciative.”
Morse’s return is huge for Vanderbilt. No, he’s not Sharrif Floyd or Glenn Dorsey, but he’s an experienced veteran who has played in 34 career games and should be a senior run-stopper for the Dores’ overachieving defense.
Morse will compete with Barron Dixon and Vince Taylor for a starting gig, and depth players Adam Butler, Torey Agee and Ladarius Banks will be in and out of the rotation this fall.
Franklin feels good about the depth built on both lines of scrimmage this spring, and Morse helps fill a void of the one position Franklin is concerned about the most on defense.
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