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Commodores riding wave of momentum

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

HOOVER, Ala. -- It's been a while (a long while) since Vanderbilt's football program has enjoyed this kind of momentum.

Coming off their first bowl victory in 53 years, the Commodores are beating SEC rivals for recruits. They're pointing toward a second straight winning season, and they've generated the kind of involvement in their offseason program that's been unprecedented under Bobby Johnson.

"We've had more players here this summer working than we've ever had," Johnson said.

And that's not by accident, according to senior center Bradley Vierling.

"We're going to ride that high as long as we can," said Vierling, a team captain for the second straight season. "The confidence level at Vanderbilt is as high as it's ever been. The competition at Vanderbilt is as high as it's ever been, because we have better players than we've ever had.

"We also have a lot of older guys, a ton of seniors, and we put pressure on these younger guys to be down here in the summer and working to get better and working to win more games. That's how we got seven victories last year, doing it in the weight room, doing it in the summer, doing it on the practice field and competing against one another."