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Vanderbilt's Top Recruiting 2016 Target, JoeJuan Williams, Anchors Down

Derek Mason got the huge in-state recruit he needed after a 4-8 season.

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Mason may have gotten the biggest recruit of his short Vanderbilt tenure. On Saturday, four-star Hendersonville defensive back JoeJuan Williams gave his verbal commitment to the Commodores.

Williams was Vanderbilt's top target for 2016. He chose Nashville over scholarship offers from LSU, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Michigan State, and just about every other football powerhouse you can think of. He was rated as the 11th-best safety prospect and the 201st best overall prospect by ESPN. Rivals rates him as the nation's 10th-best safety, 169th-best prospect, and the top player in the state of Tennessee.

He's got the size to be a supremely disruptive defender for Mason's high-level defenses. At 6'3" and 195 pounds, he's big enough to cover the SEC's taller wideouts. A couple of seasons in the weight room will give him the bulk he needs to be an effective run stopper as well.

Williams's coverage skills are what made him an elite prospect. He's got tremendous instincts for the ball and finds a way to gain position on his man thanks to impressive athleticism. He could play either cornerback or safety at the next level, though many projections put him in the middle of the field in the NCAA.

Here's what he did as a junior that earned him the distinction of being the top player in the Volunteer State.