The 6-foot-3, 178-pound receiver from Prairie View High School in Brighton, Colo., has been impressive in camps and has had five scholarship offers.
Regarded by some as one of the top receiver recruits to come out of Colorado in several years, Vaden is hoping to turn a few more heads as he goes into his senior year.
Among the schools he'd like to impress: Colorado.
"It would be great for me to stay in state," he said on Tuesday. "But, if they don't want me at their program, I'm not going to force it. I'm going to find the place for me."
While Vaden lists CU as one of his top choices, the Buffaloes haven't expressed the same type of interest to this point.
"Just a little bit of contact with them," he said. "They've been showing some interest, but not too much. I've been getting a lot of mail from them."
Mountain West Conference schools, meanwhile, are quite impressed.
Vaden, who racked up yards receiving, rushing and in the return game last season as a junior, has had offers from Boise State, Colorado State, New Mexico, UNLV and Wyoming. All of them want him as a receiver.
"All the programs have great things to bring to the table," he said. "Definitely all of these schools will get a lot of looks."
He said Southern Cal and Oklahoma are his dream schools, but added, "I've always wanted to get to a program that's the best fit for me."
Vaden was one of the most impressive players at the Badger Sports 7-on-7 tournament in Las Vegas this past spring. He also shined at the Nike Football Training Camp in Eugene, Ore., earlier this month.
An explosive player with great hands, speed, leaping ability and height, the one knock on Vaden seems to be his size. But, he's working on that.
"I'd like to get to 200 pounds," said Vaden, who has added nearly 10 pounds since the end of the 2010 season.
Vaden said playing three sports (football, basketball and track and field) in high school limits the time he can spend in the weight room. But, that will change once he gets to college.
"Once I get into a good weight program and focusing on putting on weight, it'll come easy," he said.
Exactly where he'll end up, nobody knows. But, Vaden is confident in his ability. He believes he can help CU, or another BCS school.
"Definitely," he said. "I know for a fact I can compete against BCS-caliber teams and players. I've done many camps this summer and I have handled my own, if not out-competed players that are getting looked at by BCS schools."
Should that offer from CU – or another BCS school – not come, however, Vaden won't sweat it.
"If a program is not interested in me, I'm not going to take it to heart," he said. "It's not going to hurt my feelings."
Vaden is in no rush to sign with anybody, though.
"I'm not planning on committing any time soon," he said. "I'm definitely taking my time to find the best place for me."
His goal is to graduate in December and enroll at a school for the spring semester. For now, though, he's worried about his high school team.
"I'm definitely focused on taking my team this senior season to the playoffs – a place we have never been," he said.