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Four-Star Safety Zaire Jones Commits to Vanderbilt for 2016

Vanderbilt's #Select16 got a little more defensive punch when four-star safety Zaire Jones committed to the Commodores on Saturday. The Mississippi high schooler announced his choice after the 'Dores loss to Ole Miss.

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Vanderbilt may have lost to #3 Ole Miss on Saturday, but they held the nation's top scoring offense to only 27 points in defeat. Apparently, that was enough to convince one of the team's biggest defensive targets that Derek Mason knows what he's doing.

Three-star safety Zaire Jones announced that he'd be attending Vanderbilt in 2016 minutes after the final whistle blew on the Commodores' 27-16 loss in Oxford:

ESPN rates Jones as a four-star prospect with the potential to play either safety position thanks to a combination of quickness and tackling skill. He had previously committed to Mississippi State, but vacated that position in August. Vanderbilt beat out the Bulldogs and Missouri to secure his services in 2016 and beyond.

Here's what Jones told the Clarion Star-Ledger about his decision to pick a Vandy team that hasn't won a conference matchup since 2013.

"That's something you take into consideration but you also look at the other benefits the college brings. If you believe in yourself as a player and that you can make a change in that university, you take that confidence and apply it to your decision. I have confidence in myself that anywhere I go, I want to make a change."

- Zaire Jones, as told to Courtney Cronin.

Jones is the 11th member of Vanderbilt's 2016 recruiting class and third (or fourth, depending on where Sam Brodner plays) defensive back in the group. Given Derek Mason's recent proclivity to burn redshirts, he could see the field as early as next August for the Commodores.