Well, that didn’t take long. Within days of Middle Tennessee head coach Rick Stockstill being fired, star defensive lineman Zaylin Wood entered the transfer portal and found a new home.
According to his Instagram account, Wood will transfer to Vanderbilt and play for the Commodores in the 2024 college football season.
Former Middle Tennessee DT Zaylin Wood Transfers to Vanderbilt
Wood was in the transfer portal for almost less time than it will take him to get from his former home to his new one, with Vanderbilt being just over an hour up the I-24 W from Murfreesboro. However, Wood will make a gargantuan leap when he swaps CUSA for the SEC following his transfer from Middle Tennessee to Vanderbilt.
However, he’s proved that he belongs at the level after standing out against Power Five opposition during his career. Wood was on the Middle Tennessee team that beat the Miami Hurricanes in 2022, and caught the attention of scouts across the country with a performance that included two tackles for loss, two sacks, and a 15-yard interception returned for a touchdown.
If Vanderbilt fans want a taste of what Cook brings to the Commodores for the 2024 college football season, that’s the game to flip on. A unique athlete in a 6’1″, 290-pound frame, the former Blue Raiders defensive lineman is a former Georgia all-classification state power-lifting champion.
On the football field, Wood has been productive across multiple seasons. A true freshman in 2019, he got his break on defense in 2020 when he played in nine games during the disrupted COVID campaign. He emerged as a full-time starter in 2021, before a breakout season in 2022 where he tallied nine tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, and the aforementioned interception against Miami (FL).
Woods leaves Middle Tennessee with 19 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, two interceptions, five pass breakups, and one forced fumble.
A three-year starter with 49 appearances for the Blue Raiders, Wood brings experience and talent to the Vanderbilt defensive front. Furthermore, as a permanent team captain for the 2023 college football season, he also adds an element of leadership to the Commodores in the trenches. He has one year of remaining eligibility for the program following his transfer.