Football Tigers Pick Up Ninth Public Verbal

Auburn is off to a busy start in football recruiting for the 2003 signee class.

Brentwood, Tenn.--The Auburn Tigers have picked up their ninth public football verbal commitment and the second from the state of Tennessee.

John Vaughn, a 6-1, 170-pound record-setting kicker from Brentwood Academy, told Inside the Auburn Tigers that he will sign with Auburn University in February. He was a first team All-State kicker as a junior and is the all-time state leader in field goals made. He has surpassed the old career mark of 32 by five field goals with a chance to add more.

John Vaughn is show in action for Brentwood Academy.

Going into the 2002 state playoffs, he has made 37-42 field goals as a four-year starter. He has never missed a kick of under 39 yards and has has made 95 percent of his field goals from less than 50 yards. His Brentwood Academy team is 8-2 this season and will have an opening round bye in the state playoffs.

Vaughn says he picked the Tigers over Ole Miss, Florida, Vandy, Kentucky Tennessee and Middle Tennessee State University. "I picked Auburn for a couple of reasons," he says. "I think I will have a chance to play pretty early there. There are couple of my former teammates at Auburn--Taylor Bourgeois and Jake Slaughter. Also, I am impressed with Auburn's reputation as a university."

The Brentwood Academy senior is currently tied for fifth on the all-time national list for most field goals made as a kicker. He is also a four-year starter on the school's soccer team, going back to his eighth grade season. He made first team All-District last season as a junior.

Brentwood Academy has the unusual situation of having two of the South's top kicking specialists on the same team. Kody Bliss, a senior, is also being recruited by Auburn and other colleges. Bliss handles the punting and averaged an eye-opening 52 yards per punt as a junior. He also handles kickoffs with his extremely strong leg which sent 91 percent of the kickoffs into the end zone as a junior. He is considering Auburn, Texas, Notre Dame and hometown Vanderbilt.

With senior punter/kicker Damon Duval wrapping up his collegiate career, Auburn is interested in both Brentwood kickers. Bliss handles the field goals of 53 yards or less and Bliss kicks the extra long ones. He has made a 62-yarder in a game.

Vaughn has kicked off four times this year with three going into the end zone.

"John is a very accurate kicker and he has a strong leg," says Brentwood Academy coach Carlton Flatt. "His longest field goal in a game is 48 yards, but he has kicked a 55-yarder in practice. He is a really good person from a really good family. He is also a good student."

Auburn's other commitments are from:

*Cole Bennett, a 6-5, 230 tight end from Dalton, Ga., High.

*Bruce Edwards, a 5-10, 165 wide receiver from Columbus, Miss., High.

*Brandon Jacobs, a 6-4, 257 pound tailback from Coffeyville, Kan., Community College.

*Lloyd Blevins, a 6-5, 225, defensive end from Wenonah High in Birmingham.

Viciente DeLoach, a 6-4, 220 defensive end from Columbus, Miss., High.

*Josh Thompson, a 6-1, 289 defensive lineman from Statesboro, Ga., High.

*Jason Jude, a 6-1, 218 running back from Athens, Ala., High.

*Carl Stewart, a 6-3, 205 running back from Maryville, Tenn., High.

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