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:
It's time to jump on the boat and Anchor Down ⚓️⬇️I have verbally committed to Vanderbilt University. pic.twitter.com/dusV6q6Hqy— Zaire Jones (@_Zaire5) September 27, 2015
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."
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.