If you're looking for the defensive back who has flourished in head coach Derek Mason's system, look no further than Torren McGaster. After earning one start in 13 games as a redshirt freshman in 2013, McGaster has developed into a shutdown corner over the last two seasons.
As a redshirt sophomore, he posted at least four tackles in 11 games. It definitely did not take McGaster long to find his place in the new system. He also finished third on the team with 66 tackles, including 3.5 for a loss. The Daphe, Alabama product shared the team interception title with Taurean Ferguson thanks to a pair of interceptions against the Vols in 2014. At the 0:22 mark in the below video, McGaster slides right in front of the intended receiver for an easy pick. At 1:36 in the same video you'll see McGaster come away with his second interception of the night and season.
At the 0:50 mark in the next video clip is one of the best defensive plays of the day against Kentucky in 2015 when McGaster gave the Wildcat receiver no chance to make the catch before tipping it to teammate Oren Burks for an interception. This is the kind of football awareness and talent that brought him to lead the team in solo tackles as a redshirt sophomore.
In one of his best games last season against Middle Tennessee State, McGaster finished with three passes defended and a fumble recovery. One of the best spots from a revealed video was at the 1:50 marker when McGaster bodyslammed MTSU's Derek Barnes with a punishing tackle.
The redshirt senior has shown he has the football knowledge to be a ball hawk and continues to improve in Mason's system. If the defense continues to build on 2015 and translates that success into Vanderbilt takeaways, the 'Dores will continue to be one of the best defensive units in the SEC. Accomplishing that will keep them in contests that many might not have expected to be close.
With the number of talented receivers in the conference, having a reliable shutdown corner like McGaster who can match up with the best of them makes things easier for the rest of the secondary. With 23 starts under his belt, he'll have one last chance of visiting the postseason, he enjoyed as a redshirt freshman in 2013. Entering his final season as a Commodore, McGaster will be one of the premier pass defenders in the league while anchoring the 'Dores talented secondary.