Vanderbilt landed Virginia safety Dashaun Jerkins after a solid performance at Friday Night Lights camp. The 3-star safety chose the Commodores over North Carolina, Lousiville, Pittsburgh, and others.
To get a more in-depth look at Dashaun Jerkins, we sat down with Woodbridge head coach Gary Wortham:
VandySports.com: What type of player can Vanderbilt fans expect in Dashaun Jerkins?
Gary Wortham: “Vanderbilt got a player that plays with a passion. They got a player that will hit you like a car crash. They got an academic standout. Dashaun Jerkins carries a 3.8 GPA. He’s a team captain and a leader. The boy was born to play the game. Vanderbilt is getting something very special in Dashaun Jerkins.”
VS: What is the best individual play that you’ve seen from Vanderbilt’s newest commit?
GW: “Well, he does so much for us. He’s made more than a couple of big plays. He caused two series of forced fumbles that we needed in a game that we played against Patriot. On the offensive side of the ball, it’s funny for us to watch him play. On defense, free safety is just his job, but he’s so athletic that he helps us in other areas as well. We get tickled when we see him on offense because he does just as well there as he does on defense. In the first game of the season, he made a big play by catching a 91-yard touchdown pass which we just weren't expecting to happen. He’s just so athletic that it was great just to see him have that moment. That’s just another big play from him as he contributes to our team and program.”
VS: What area of his game needs improvement heading into his senior season?
GW: “If I look at things that I think that he could improve on, one would be not taking a toll on his teammates in practice. You need to take it easy on your teammates. You need to take care of our players. From the games, that’s tough because he is just a huge contributor. I would say rest maybe. When we try to take him out of the game, he won’t come out. When you get to that next level and I’m going to work with on this, rotation of fresh bodies is how you win games. That’s one of the things that we are going to try to do. We will try to get him some rest. That’s the main thing that he could improve on.”
VS: What type of leader is Dashaun Jerkins? Does he lead vocally or by example?
GW: “He does both. He leads vocally and by example. He will be a 4-year starter this year. Since my first year, he’s been around some great leaders, and he’s learned from some of them on what it takes to be a leader. He’s been an all-conference player in our league since his freshman year. He’s been a team captain since I took over the program his sophomore year. Vanderbilt is getting a quality player. They are getting a great player and human being.”
VS: Do you think Dashaun Jerkins can compete for playing time as a true freshman?
GW: “Absolutely. He’s playing at that level right now. He’s playing at a high level. He has a high motor. He’s got a lot of energy. When you know the game of football to go with, he will play with anyone. If Vanderbilt calls his number, I believe that he will be ready to go. It just comes down to what they decide.”