Sunday, December 28, 2008

Just around the corner

The Commodores might not be leaving town for a bowl game, but for most of the team, staying at Gaylord Opryland Hotel will be a new experience.

"I took a quick survey in our team meeting to find out how many of our players had been to this hotel before," Brian Reese, Associate Director of Student Athletics, said, "and I think only 15 people raised their hand."

With less than four days until kickoff at the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl, Vanderbilt got its first taste of bowl week as it checked-in to its postseason headquarters Saturday night at 8 p.m. CT.

Wide receiver/tailback Jamie Graham, a native of Nashville, vaguely remembers one childhood trip to Opryland. Other than that, the atmosphere already has a road-trip feel to it.

"I probably haven't been here since the amusement park was here and that was a long time ago," Graham recalled. "I feel like I'm out of town right now, just like going to Georgia. I live five minutes away and I've never really been here."

Reese, along with the coaching staff, stayed at the hotel Friday night to make sure everything would be ready for the team upon arrival. So far, so good.

"Check-in went great", added Reese. "The hotel has been fantastic at making sure all of our needs are taken care of. I've been here two days and it's been tremendous. Everything has been very smooth."

Graham, who will get to play in front of a large number of family members, is looking forward to the festivities scheduled for bowl week.

"We're just going to soak all this stuff in because you might not get to do it again."

To watch video interviews with Jamie and Brian, Click Here.

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