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Vanderbilt Football 2021 Position Previews: Defensive Backs Pt. 2

Things look a little brighter in the Safety Group

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Mississippi State
Brendon Harris will need to work to fend off some talented recruits.
Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Our second day of coverage deals with the safety group. This group’s outlook is slightly more positive, mostly thanks to Deshaun Jerkins, but the crew did suffer a major loss in Donovan Kaufman’s decision to transfer. As with the cornerbacks, we will talk first about the potential starters and then delve into our depth.


Deshaun Jerkins - Jerkins is pretty much a certainty to start at free safety, having been in the program for a while and having played pretty well in so doing. He started ten games in 2019 and six last year.

Brendon Harris - Harris started three games in 2019 and three games last year. He will likely be chased by Maxwell Worship for starter minutes, so the lead at the strong safety position is less certain.

Maxwell Worship - Worship has starter experience at safety as well and 22 games of experience under his belt. He will no doubt be in the rotation.


This is the area where safety really shows a bright spot, as there are a number of talented prospects in this group.

Chase Lloyd - Lloyd enrolled at Vanderbilt in 2020 as a three-star recruit from Westlake High School. He had nine tackles last year.

John Howse - Per Robbie Weinstein over at 247, Howse has been shuffling a bit between corner and safety, so I chose to put him here. Howse is Vanderbilt’s highest rated defensive back recruit.

CJ Taylor - Taylor has been mostly limited during training camp and so it is unlikely he will get a lot of play time initially.


This unit does have experience on its side and provided some decent play last year, and receives a nice infusion of talent thanks to Howse’s addition and Lloyd’s presence. They will hopefully provide veteran leadership and provide some stabilization for a secondary that badly needs it.