Vanderbilt unfortunately became the first, and so far the only, Southeastern Conference program to date that’s been forced to shut down due to coronavirus following the start of training camp but the good news is the Commodores are back at it following the brief hiatus.

Following the first day of workouts and practice, Derek Mason met with the media via Zoom to discuss the first day back in action and what it took for the Commodores to return to the field.

“We just evaluated where we were, waited to take a test on Sunday and get our test results back and just be smart about the tracing piece,” Mason said on Wednesday. “I think in this, procedurally, you want to make sure you function the right way. We felt like we did, and it was good to get most of our guys back. Again, a good Wednesday practice.”

While noted there were still players in quarantine, Vanderbilt is determined it’s still safe for the majority of the team to suit up.

Among those players is linebacker Dimitri Moore, who recently made the decision to opt-in after previously announcing his decision to opt-out for the upcoming season.

Considering Moore led the team in tackles last season, Mason is thrilled to have the linebacker back in action.

“It’s good to have Dimitri back. You’re talking about a football player who’s been on the field for three years,” Mason added. “He’s got experience, I think he understands the game, how fast the game is in the SEC and, again, I think the guys around him will feed off his energy.

“It’s like anything else, we talk about next man up, but when you get a guy like Dimitri Moore back into the fold, it definitely solidifies your depth and it makes you a better defense.”