Vanderbilt University isn’t exactly Alabama or Ohio State but quietly over the last few years the small private school in the SEC has been wreaking havoc in the conference that has been the breeding ground for BCS Champions in recent years.
With solid wins over Florida, Georgia, Auburn, Ole Miss, and Tennessee the past two seasons Vanderbilt has become a force in the Southeastern Conference. They have also put a lot of solid guys in the NFL. Jay Culter is the quarterback of the Bears. Zac Stacy almost rushed for a thousand yards in St. Louis last year. Casey Heyward of the Packers is one of the best corners in the league. Now Mike Munchak is going to try to mold fifth round pick and former Commodore Wesley Johnson into a starting NFL offensive lineman.
Munchak is no stranger to Johnson. As the head coach of the Tennessee Titans the last few years he was aware of the Commodores were doing just down the street in Nashville. Now as Pittsburgh’s new offensive line coach he has a talented 6’5 297 pound prospect that played left and right tackle, right guard and was First-Team All-SEC.
Johnson left Vanderbilt as part of the most successful class in school history and started more games that any other Commodore. He became an online sensation last September when a Vanderbilt video blog went viral after a win against UMass. Vandy was struggling against the Minutemen on the road and Johnson wasn’t too happy with the play of his teammates at halftime. To make his point the team captain threw a chair across the locker room, bashed his helmet into a locker and demanded his teammates pick it up in the second half. Vanderbilt won 24-7.
It’s highly unlikely Johnson will start in 2014. But given his past I doubt a single Pittsburgh Steeler fan will be disappointed with what they have with their late fifth round pick.
In two years at left tackle Johnson only gave up two sacks in the SEC. And most importantly he held his own in three meetings with #1 pick Jadeveon Clowney. The sky is the limit for Johnson and under Munchak he could flourish. And if injuries start to creep into the locker room it’s nice to know there is a guy on the bench who can play every position on the offensive line.