Vanderbilt’s quarterback competition is underway.

Of course, redshirt freshman Johnny McCrary insists it’s just one more thing he and sophomore Patton Robinette will be battling over each day.

“We’re the most competitive people probably in Nashville, or possibly the United States,” McCrary said. “We compete when we ride scooters around campus, trying to get to the vending machine, trying to get to meetings first.

“It’s a friendly competition. It’s all in fun, really. We’re just trying to have a good time.”

The Commodores held their first of 15 spring practices under new coach Derek Mason on Tuesday, working in helmets, shirts and shorts. Robinette (6-foot-4, 214 pounds), who played in 10 games and started three last season, enters the spring with “a leg up” on McCrary (6-4, 222), Mason said.

During position drills that media were permitted to watch, quarterbacks practiced cadences and took snaps in the shotgun, ran simulated plays that stressed going through their progressions deliberately and spent time on footwork during drop-back drills.

Josh Grady, who injured his left knee last season at Texas A&M, worked alongside Robinette and McCrary while wearing a brace.

“It’s too early to say what the true differences are (with Robinette and McCrary) besides the obvious — one’s played more than the other,” Mason said. “I saw Patton today do some different things. I thought he threw well on the move. I thought he made a couple of good decisions when he was in the pocket. His read progression was much faster than I anticipated.

“Johnny came out and just worked through it. It’s new for him. It’s new to get in this style of offense, work through it and actually be able to go through his read progressions, and I thought he did it. I thought sometimes his feet didn’t always allow him to go where he needed to go. But for a first day, it’s good.”

Robinette said the first day was about focusing on the fundamentals of a pro-style offense.

“We kind of were dual-threat a little bit last year,” Robinette said. “We’re working on being more pro-style and pocket stuff, and still retaining our athletic stuff.”

New offensive coordinator Karl Dorrell was encouraged by the quarterbacks’ presentation in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage.

“We actually did a couple of things today that were a little bit further ahead than I expected them to be,” Dorrell said. “It’s competitive right off the bat.”