The biggest prize of Vanderbilt’s 2016 recruiting class has officially followed through on his pledge.
Joejuan Williams, a four-star cornerback from Hendersonville, Tenn., signed his national letter of intent Wednesday, committing to playing his college football for coach Derek Mason and the Commodores. Williams, who has been committed to Vanderbilt since December, is the Commodores’ lone four-star signee for the Class of 2016, down from three four-star prospects that joined the program a year ago.
The cornerback is the No. 18-rated player at his position in the country and the No. 2-ranked player hailing from Tennessee. He is one of only two players from Tennessee who signed with Vanderbilt this class, along with three-star quarterback Deuce Wallace.
Williams steps into a Vanderbilt defensive backfield that sorely needs him. Though Vanderbilt’s pass defense was above average in 2015 — finishing seventh in the SEC and 41st in the nation with 207 passing yards allowed per game — the unit lacked the opportunistic quality Williams brings to the table.
The Commodores intercepted just six passes last season, two of which were made by players who have since graduated. Williams can help to remedy that, as not only did he average one interception every fifth game in high school, but he also brings with him a playmaking background, as he dabbled at both running back and return man in high school.