It's Wednesday, which means it's time to get to know a little bit more (or just anything at all) about one of the Southeastern Conference's football players. Now when this player succeeds, massively fails or is shown milling around in the background of a TV shot, you'll know that his greatest off-the-field accomplishment involves the sale and transportation of hobos. Or something like that.
The team of the player selected is chosen through a super-secret process which I cannot reveal, however, the number of the player is randomly chosen by visiting www.random.org and using whatever number is spat out from its random-creating machine.
All of the teams are back in the random selection pool this week, and it's only fitting that the team people care about the least leads off the second round of player introductions.
Today's number: 83
Today's team: Vanderbilt
Some background information: Although white, John doesn't fit the mold of the typical white Vanderbilt wide receiver. The Todd Yoder (although he may have been a tight end) types usually were in the 6'2-5"-ish range and weighed in the 210-220 area and more in the sluggish department. John is more of a waterbug, although after a knee injury in 2008, he may not have the speed of those little bugs that can move at eight times the speed of sound. And it's entirely possible he didn't before then either. Think of him as the Commodores' Wayne Chrebet. Anyway, this isn't just another receiver in the rotation, it's Vanderbilt's 2009 Most Valuable Receiver Award winner. And he achieved this award while playing with a surgically repaired hand after breaking it in week four against Rice. So you may now insert you stereotypical comments about white receivers here:_______________________________________________________________________.
Greatest on-field accomplishment: In Vandy's 36-17 thrashing of Rice, John torched the Owls with 7 catches for 67 yards and ran a 31-yard reverse in for a touchdown. Such domination earned him the team's Offensive Player of the Week. Interestingly enough, it was one of three times all season the offense produced enough to legitimately award players for production.
Greatest off-the-field accomplishment: A two-time All-SEC Academic Honor Roll recipient, John is clearly not a moron. Also, I would chalk up not being a raging alcoholic while watching another Larry Smith pass skip into his feet or sail into the third row as a major credit to John's mental toughness (STEREOTYPICAL WHITE WIDE RECEIVER ATTRIBUTE ALERT! ALSO: GRITTY!)
Ways in which he has embarrassed himself, his family, team and school: In terms of law breaking and tomfoolery, John has kept a clean sheet. However, being associated with the Vanderbilt offense could fall into this category.
Strengths: /SYSTEM FAILURE/OVERLOAD OF STEREOTYPICAL WHITE WIDE RECEIVER TERMS/TOO MUCH DATA/////OUTPUT: GRITTY, TOUGH, SMART, GOOD HANDS, GOOD ROUTE-RUNNER, KNACK FOR FINDING THE FOOTBALL, ALL-OUT EFFORT, GREAT INTERVIEW, HARD-NOSED, LOVES FOOTBALL, JOY TO COACH, FRIEND OF THE QUARTERBACK, MOTOR NEVER STOPS......(Machine explodes)
Weaknesses: Brittle (two injuries in two years), short, undersized and forced to receive what are generously described as passes from Larry Smith (or whoever is not good enough to completely unseat Smith as the starter).
What to expect in 2010: You'll see plenty of John on the field when Vanderbilt has the ball, which, unfortunately, probably won't be very much. The Commodores are eternally committed to having an offense that will never crack the top 100 mark in any NCAA offensive categories. However, when he is on the field, shots of him catching the ball and him watching the ball go in his direction but not to him should be around 40/60. So get ready to see a lot of "I should have gone to Stanford" jogs back to the huddle and to the sideline.