Thursday, June 17, 2010


(Photo of James Vaughters by The Buckeye Times/Josh Spanks)

Story by The Buckeye Times contributor, Brent Van Fleet II
TUCKER, Ga. — Tucker High School (Ga.) star linebacker, James Vaughters, announced on Thursday morning that he will play his college football at Stanford University.

With his parents behind him, Vaughters stood and praised his final five collegiate choices, before selecting to play for the Cardinal.

"I would like to acknowledge with great appreciation, all of the schools that made my final list," Vaughters began. "The University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, University of Alabama, Stanford University and Ohio State University."

He took time to explain what intrigued him the most about his final five choices and then he made the final decision.

"With the great selection of schools, it has been a difficult decision," Vaughters said. "But in the fall semester of 2011, I will be attending Stanford."

The Rock Hard Fitness Center in his hometown of Tucker, where the announcement took place, became filled with cheers and excessive applause from the fans who were in attendance.

The four-star linebacker, according to, had Stanford and Ohio State as his top two choices. But according to Vaughters, there was one major difference ... Academics.

"I want that academic rigor and I can find that at Stanford," Vaughters said.

Vaughters stated that his decision was more about the long term.

"I am not guaranteed to be in the NFL, so I had to pick what was best for my future," Vaughters said.

Vaughters, who was being recruited by some of the best programs in the country, stated that Stanford became more of a possibilty after he spoke with Alabama head coach, Nick Saban.

Saban told Vaughters that education throughout public schools are relatively the same, but if he wanted that top education, a private school like Stanford would provide that type of academic rigor he was searching for.

Many felt that Ohio State was the favorite to gain the services of Vaughters, but of course, that sentiment would be proven incorrect on Thursday morning.

However, the star linebacker had nothing but positive things to say about Buckeyes' head coach Jim Tressel and the Ohio State University as a whole.

"He's the most stable coach in the NCAA," Vaughters said of Tressel. "I really admire what he stands for."

On top of that, Vaughters was highly impressed with the ability Ohio State has on grooming linebackers into NFL prospects.

He also got to experience the atmosphere that is Ohio State football. Everything from "Script Ohio" to the intimidating and fierce fans inside the "Horseshoe."

"I got to go to probably the most intense game, Ohio State and USC. It was crazy," Vaughters said. "Out of all the schools I visited, I enjoyed the Ohio State experience the best out of all of them."

Vaughters stated that early on, he was an Ohio State fan and could've easily seen himself playing for the scarlet and gray in the 2011 season. He said that it was like a second home, due to the great amount of family he has in Ohio.

Vaughters also liked the dominance the Buckeyes have had in the Big Ten, along with being a perennial national championship contender.

It was simply his academic aspirations which ultimately led him to Palo Alto.

"I am happy about my decision," Vaughters said. "Now I can focus on this season (at Tucker)."

"To win that state championship!" Vaughters' father proclaimed.

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