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Senior Profile: Leadership the way for Vaughns

August 20, 2018

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A fifth-year senior, Verkedric Vaughns has played a few defensive positions over the course of his Baylor career. Coming out of Mesquite (TX) Poteet High School as a versatile two-way athlete, Vaughns played cornerback and receiver. He ranked the 64th cornerback in the nation by ESPN, and the 71st overall recruit in the state (fourth among athletes) by LoneStar Top 100.

During his redshirt freshman year, he played in 11 games on special teams and as a reserve corner with his collegiate debut in the season-opening win at SMU.

In 2016, Vaughns played in 12 games with four starts at cornerback. As a sophomore, in his first career start at Rice, he had one tackle and a career-high 3 passes broken up.

Last year, Vaughns spent time at corner back and safety, starting at each position at some point. He played all 12 games with 5 starts and posted career-highs of 42 tackles, 2.0 tackles-for-loss, and 1.0 sack on the season. In the games vs. Liberty, Vaughns tallied a career-high 10 tackles and a career-best nine solo stops.

Currently ranked fourth on the team in career games with 35, Vaughns is a two-time selection to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll and was selected to the 2016-17 Academic All-Big 12 second team.

This past Thursday, in an after-practice presser, Vaughns spoke about the stress placed on forcing turnovers this coming season. Last year, Baylor forced only 9 turnovers compared to Big 12 leader Texas Tech, who forced 29 throughout the season.

“We took it personal,” he said, after being asked about the low turnover ratio of last season. “That’s why we’re focusing on turnover drills. We don’t get turnovers [then] we don’t win games.”

Vaughns can also see a visible difference in practice from just a year ago.

“We got a year under our belts and everyone is flying around; not really thinking as much now [just] focusing on little details and getting better each day.”

Vaughns is from Mesquite, Texas, and has earned his undergraduate degree in Heath, Kinesiology, and Leisure Studies as of May 2018. He also served on the relief mission to Puerto Rico in May 2018.

Antonia’s Thoughts: My hopes for Verkedric Vaughns in this season revolve around him simply continuing to produce. In press conferences, he talks about striving for more turnovers and being more reactionary than pensive now that the team knows what coaches expect. Last year, Vaughns had some career games in the first year of a new system, which shows me that he has a high football I.Q. as far as knowing how to adapt quickly.

Along with more depth, I can definitely see Vaughns and other safeties get into a better rotation and further alleviating the stress so many positions felt last year with injuries. Now that he has had a year to relax into the system, and has more help, I am eager to see his production go up.

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Senior Profile: Leadership the way for Vaughns

2,328 Views | 0 Replies | Last: 2 yr ago by Antonia Rodriguez
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