Coach Johnson, Pair of Sophomore Captains To Represent Commodores Tuesday at SEC Media Days 7/29/03

Birmingham, Ala. - A pair of sophomore captains, quarterback Jay Cutler and Jovan Haye, will join Vanderbilt Head Coach Bobby Johnson as the Commodores go before hundreds of sportswriters Tuesday at the Southeastern Conference’s Kickoff 2003 - Media Days in Birmingham.

SEC officials believe it could be a first in Media Days history that a university has been represented by two sophomores. The Commodores, in the second year under Johnson, will be the conference’s youngest team this fall, with just one senior as a projected starter.

Johnson, who is driving to Media Days following a speaking engagement Monday at the South Carolina Coaches Clinic, is looking forward to having Cutler and Haye represent the Commodores.

“Jay and Jovan have worked hard to earn the respect of their teammates. Their leadership during our offseason program has been excellent. I think they will do an excellent job representing our team and the university,” Johnson said.

The Commodores are one of four teams going before more than 500 sportswriters on the opening day of SEC Media Days. Also scheduled to appear are representatives from Tennessee, Arkansas and Kentucky. The event continues through Thursday

The SEC invites the coach and two players from each team to participate. The conference seeks a representative of each team's offensive and defensive unit.

Haye, a defensive end from Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, was excited about representing the Commodores. He and Cutler had a workout in the morning before leaving for Birmingham. “It’s a unique opportunity for both of us,” Haye said. “It’s also important that we put our best foot forward because we are also representing the rest of our team.”

Cutler, a native of Santa Claus, Ind., who was named to the All-SEC Freshman in 2002, agreed with his teammate. “I definitely see it as an honor to be selected. I doubt a lot of sophomores get an opportunity like this. More than anything, I realize I’ll be representing the rest of our guys when I’m on the podium,” Cutler said.

The Commodores are scheduled to begin preseason practices Wednesday, August 6 on campus. The season opener, a home game against Eli Manning and the Ole Miss Rebels, is scheduled Saturday, August 30, at 11:30 a.m.



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