In the third round of this year’s draft, the Buccaneers selected Ke’Shawn Vaughn from Vanderbilt University. Like most jobs, a welcoming of sorts is in order. All rookies will attend the NFLPA events and other rookie activities to get them mentally ready for the NFL. This will be an introduction, of sorts, to what Vaughn has to offer and what he has already accomplished.
The journey began at Pearl-Cohn High school in Nashville, Tennessee where Vaughn racked up over 5000 rushing yards in just two years. After rushing for 2,600 yards and 45 touchdowns, he was named 2014 Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year. Coming out of High school Vaughn had several offers from Power Five schools which included Notre Dame, Louisville, Illinois, and Ohio State. Rather than joining a running back rich school like Ohio State, Notre Dame, or Wisconsin, he chose Illinois. His freshman year at Illinois, Vaughn was the leading rusher with 723 yards and six touchdowns on 157 attempts. A coaching change one year later saw his production drop. After the coaching change, Vaughn decided to transfer to Vanderbilt University.
Path to the draft
Once Vaughn got to Vanderbilt, he hit the ground running. In 2018, he led the team in rushing yards with 1,244 yards and 12 touchdowns and added 170 receiving yards and two touchdowns. As a Senior, Vaughn amassed 1,028 yards rushing and nine touchdowns with 270 yards receiving and one touchdown. Vaughn’s best game as a Commodore was the 2018 Texas Bowl versus Baylor University. Vaughn exploded for 243 rushing yards with three runs of at least 66 yards. After his career was over at Vanderbilt, Vaughn had 21 touchdowns on the ground which is tied for fourth-most all-time. He holds the highest yards-per-carry average for a full time running back with 6.4 with the next highest average being 5.5.
How he helps
Vaughn’s ability to catch the ball out of the backfield is something that Tampa has lacked over the last few seasons. He also fills a void that Peyton Barber left as a one-cut runner that does not avoid contact. Vaughn can make a cut and trust what he sees in order to attack the line of scrimmage. Once the team can get together on the field and workout, coaches will see how Vaughn fits into the backfield rotation. I look for him to be a solid backup to Ronald Jones and could be a player that can become a solid special teams player.
Video Credit: Victors Valiant