Derek Mason delivered his words with more confidence than cockiness, more unpolished authenticity than refined salesmanship.
He wore a black suit and a tie matching Vanderbilt’s colors, the same attire he told reporters that he packed for his job interview on Thursday in Atlanta.
Mason knew the job belonged to him. So did the decision-makers on Vanderbilt’s side of the table.
The confidence that Mason exuded – the same confidence that so quickly and easily convinced Williams, university chancellor Nick Zeppos and other members in the search process – will now be tested on the recruiting trail as he tries to salvage a class of commitments that dwindled from 20 to 10 after Franklin left.
Mason, who was Stanford’s defensive coordinator for the last three years, appears to already have the approval of his new team after speaking to the players on Friday evening.
Mason has never held a coaching job in the southeast but said he has recruited in the southeast. He added that Vanderbilt will recruit on a national scale under his regime. Mason said he had not contacted any Vanderbilt recruits as of Saturday morning but had spent the previous 12 hours looking at the recruiting class and current roster.