Vanderbilt Football Kicks Off The Year With Student Coaches

Student coaches: Vanderbilt-€™s first touchdown vs. Elon wasn-€™t called by Coach Franklin or Donovan. Instead, a quartet of students chose the play that led to the game-€™s first score.

Students Trent Palmberg, Stephanie Mills, Scott Guthrie  and Prithvi Muddana played a part in Smith-€™s 15-yard touchdown pass to fullback Fitz Lassing in the first quarter.  

-€œWe picked out a play that would give Larry [Smith] some confidence,-€ Palmberg said. -€œIt had a hot route to the right and gave him a few receivers to hit either for short or maybe a little longer. … When they got into the touchdown territory, there was a similar situation. He called a similar play to that and it went in for a touchdown and we were ecstatic. We were really excited about it.-€

In the spring, a Christian fraternity, Beta Upsilon Chi, held its annual -€œMale Sale,-€ in which fraternity brothers are auctioned off for routine services such as cleaning dorm rooms and cooking dinner. Franklin served as a celebrity judge for the talent show.

Impressed that the proceeds were going to the Christian Women-€™s Job Corps, Franklin decided to auction up a football package. It included going to dinner with Franklin, touring the football facilities, attending a practice, participating in the Star Walk, watching pregame workouts on the field and picking out a play.

-€œWe felt like we were getting a celebrity experience,-€ Palmberg said. -€œWe feel like we got a lot more than we deserved for what we paid. It was a pretty cool experience for a bunch of undergrads.-€

Not only did the students have a great experience, but they were able to be part of a victory as Vanderbilt opened the season with a 45-14 win over Elon. The next game is at home this saturday at 6:30 when UConn comes town.