Vanderbilt: Who replaces Vince Taylor?

Jay Woods, who is from Jackson, had 31 tackles and 1½ tackles for loss last fall. (Vanderbilt Athletics)

Jay Woods, who is from Jackson, had 31 tackles and 1½ tackles for loss last fall. (Vanderbilt Athletics)

Every year, programs must replace key players.

This is a team-by-team look at 13 SEC programs (Chip Towers and Seth Emerson have UGA covered) and a key player who must be replaced this season.

Who replaces Vince Taylor? Taylor was the anchor of Vanderbilt’s defense at tackle in coach Derek Mason’s 3-4 scheme, so it’s critical the Commodores find a replacement for him.

That’s where Jay Woods (6-3, 283), a sophomore from Jackson, comes in.

Woods shined this spring at defensive tackle after putting on the pounds and moving from end, where he had 31 tackles and 1½ tackles for loss in 12 games last fall.

He had a season-high five tackles against Georgia.

If Woods stays at end or rotates between the two positions, expect Adam Butler (6-5, 305) or Nifae Lealao (6-5, 320) to see snaps at nose tackle.

With Caleb Azubike at the other end position and a strong group of linebackers, Vanderbilt could have a formidable front seven in 2015.


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