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Best VU Athlete Attribute of the Decade?

November 18th, 2009

I’m really not sure which athlete had the best single attribute among all Dores in the last decade. But I’m put together some nominees and corresponding video evidence of each. They are

  • David Price’s Durability (Baseball 2005-07),
  • Jeffery Taylor’s Bounce (Basketball 2008-Present),
  • Pedro Alvarez’ Wrists (Baseball 2006-08),
  • Jay Cutler’s Arm (Football 2002-2005),
  • Shan Foster’s Fingertips (Basketball 2004-2008) and
  • Sonny Gray’s Confidence (Baseball 2008-Present)

Click Through to Read a Bit About Each.

1) David Price’s Durability

David was blessed with incredible skills, but probably the best was his general athleticism and durability. He was the type of guy who could go to the well in not only the 9th inning, but also the 10th and pull out an 89 MPH slider or a 95 MPH heater.

2) Jeffery Taylor’s Bounce

Never before have I seen a Vanderbilt player who elevates and finishes as quickly and as smoothly as Jeff. Why? Because his head is at the rim before you know it. That’s why you don’t realize he’s about to dunk until he’s already done it. This entire post was inspired by watching him dunk all over Lipscomb in the season opener Monday night at Memorial. He’s already so much better than he was last year.

3) Pedro Alvarez’ Wrists

I’m not sure any VU hitter will ever instill the kind of fear and awe that Pedro did in his three years as a Commodore. Even as an injured Junior, he was the guy in baseball you stopped to watch. Nowhere was this more evident than on two Team USA teams where he (not Price, not Buster Posey, not Gordon Beckham and not Dustin Ackley) was the focal point and the guy the cameras found. The reason is because he was the Reggie Jackson, Darryl Strawberry guy who could flash his wrists and send balls flying with a smack of the bat that just sounded different than everyone else.

4) Jay Cutler’s Arm

Jay Cutler may never escape the INT bug, but he also has one of the top arms in the history of his sport. His ability to slam a square peg into coverage that provided a round, tiny hole largely was built at Vanderbilt where his offenses faced off against superior SEC defenses. He may not have won much in his four years here, but he will never be denied that rifle to Earl Bennet that gave us Victory in Knoxville.

5) Shan Foster’s Fingertips

Shan had one of the funkiest releases since Reggie Miller. He shot the ball from the nape of his neck, but it works. His release was long, but not slow and the release point was on his fingertips, high above his head. He was a tremendous leader but an even better shooter. And he will always be remembered for his Senior Night in Memorial.

6) Sonny Gray’s Confidence

I may be premature in this… I may be premature about calling Sonny “The King,” but he has that same sort of feel that David, Shan Foster and Pedro shared (the transitional character that takes his teammates to new heights). For him, as with David, it’s built around a tremendous arm. But while David could just overpower you over a marathon, Sonny is the type of competitor who seems to have that special fire that drives him over the competition… be it against South Carolina at Hoover or against high school opponents as two time Tennessee State Champion Smyrna High School’s QB.

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