When the Florida Gators come to Nashville on Saturday, it will mean a little more to redshirt junior running back Ralph Webb.
He grew up seeing orange and blue as a native of Gainesville, Florida where the University of Florida is located. He went to Gainsville High School just two miles from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Though Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason doesn’t think it’s weighing heavily on Webb’s mind this week.
“I think there is motivation every time Ralph steps on the field,” he said Wednesday on the SEC teleconference. “He was highly recruited coming out and takes the challenge every week whether it’s the Florida Gators or any other team. I think he steps on the field with the same type of passion and play. For him, he knows a lot of guys on that team and he’s definitely very familiar with them, but for him, it’s one game every week. ”
Through three games this season, Webb has rushed for 380 yards on 67 carries. Last season Webb had a 74-yard touchdown run against the Gators just before halftime to give Vanderbilt the lead. Mason thinks he’s more elusive now and added his pass protection has improved.
“He’s always looking to put tools in his toolbox and his game is becoming more complete every time he touches the grass,” Mason said.