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Monday, August 29, 2011
QB Larry Smith to start for Commodores

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Vanderbilt coach James Franklin released the depth chart Monday for the opener against Elon, and to nobody's surprise, senior Larry Smith was listed as the starting quarterback.

Franklin said Smith has all the physical tools to have a big senior season and has been impressed with the way Smith has progressed from a technical standpoint under offensive coordinator John Donovan and quarterbacks coach Ricky Rahne. Smith has thrown 10 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions in his past two seasons as a starter, while completing just 47 percent of his passes.

"I've coached in the NFL. I've seen what the NFL teams have drafted," Franklin said. "There are a lot of teams that would love to have a quarterback like Larry Smith in terms of physical skills, and I think Ricky Rahne, John Donovan and our entire staff have done a great job at developing him and making sure our team understands that they need to support him."

Franklin said Donovan would call the offensive plays, at least for the time being.

"I'm not sure that will go the entire season. We'll see," Franklin said. "Me and John have had a discussion about that. That does not mean that I will not call plays during the game and that I haven't been involved in the entire game plan. But John will be the one to call it on a day-to-day basis. I'm very very confident in him. Like I said, if you look at the bowl game, I think he put up 52 points in the bowl game at his previous institution [Maryland] against East Carolina. I think he's had a great summer. I've been very, very impressed with how he's prepared our offense."

Franklin said Zac Stacy would start at running back. Warren Norman, who's battled a sore knee this preseason, is Stacy's backup.