Saying he felt “more dedicated to the team” defensive end Theron Kadri rejoined Vanderbilt’s football program four days after he left for personal reasons.
The junior out of Brighton, Tenn., addressed the other players at the conclusion of Saturday’s workout in Vanderbilt Stadium and his brief remarks drew an enthusiastic roar.
“It feels good to know that I can make a mistake, and (I can) be going through things and they’ll still be willing to welcome me back,” he said.
Kadri remained in school and attended classes Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. During that time, he also had what he described as numerous and lengthy discussions with current and former teammates as well as family members, who eventually helped convince him to return to the team.
He met with coach Bobby Johnson on Friday and was given permission to rejoin the program one week before the season-opening game against Western Carolina.
“Theron’s back, and we’re very pleased about that,” Johnson said. “I think a lot of his teammates went to him and had a good talk with him. I think Theron knows the best place for him is Vanderbilt, and we’re glad to have him back.”
Kadri did not address the specific issues that led to his uncertainty, but he did say he did not expect them to continue throughout the season.
A valuable backup the past two seasons, the 6-foot-4, 250-pounder is expected to see a lot of playing time this fall, particularly early when starting left end Steven Stone recovers from a foot injury.
Kadri played 11 games as a true freshman in 2007 and 11 more (with one start) in 2008. He set a career-high with 19 tackles last season, and nine of those tackles came in the final two regular-season contests.
“It’s a multitude of things, really, in personal life, my family and I wasn’t sure if this was the place I needed to stay,” Kadri said. “From talking to my teammates who had graduated from here and who are still here now, and family members they all advised me, helped me through it and helped me make the right decision.
“…I know that (my teammates) have my back, even when I have my own problems.”
• Single-game tickets to Vanderbilt’s four home SEC contests will go on sale Tuesday at a cost of $50 per game.
A $15 discount is available for the game against Mississippi State (Sept. 19) with the donation of a canned food item. To receive the discount, tickets must be purchased at the Vanderbilt University ticket office and the canned food item must be donated at the time of purchase.
Tickets for all four SEC home games may be purchased at the ticket office, by phone at (615) 322-4653 or online at vucommodores.com.
Season ticket packages for as little as $109 remain available.
• Saturday’s workout marked the end of the Commodores’ preseason preparation.
They will commence with a standard practice schedule next week and will maintain that schedule throughout the regular season.
“We had a good practice today,” Johnson said. “They were concentrating and had good tempo.
“This last week was the toughest one because you weren’t playing a game, camp was over and school had started. Once we got past that, I think we’re going to be OK.”