Year in and year out, Long Beach Polytechnic high school fields some of the best football prospects in the country. In 2006, the headliner for the program was five-star cornerback Donovan Warren. In 2007, the school’s top prospect once again hails from the secondary, and the though not as hyped as his predecessor, the word is slowly starting to spread about his talents.
At 6-2, 190 pounds, Vaughn Telemaque has the size, speed, and head-hunting mentality that has a number of college programs inquiring about who he is.
“I’m having a lot of fun with the hype I’m getting right now and the schools that are looking at me,” Telemaque said. “When they come see me, they are going to see “VT.” In my earlier years I wanted to be known as the next (Sean Taylor). Now I’m ready to bring my own type of game to the field. I want the receiver to know if he comes across the middle, he is going to get punished. At the same time I want that quarterback to know that he could hurt by interceptions and big plays by me.”
Even the number of colleges showing interest has steadily grown, Telemaque
has maintained a very short list. At this point the schools that are in serious
contention are those that have shown him the most concrete interest thus far.
“The schools on my list are just the four that offered me actually,” he said. “Michigan, Rutgers, North Carolina, and Oregon. When they use to be able to talk to me through messaging, it was all equal as far as how much I talked to them. Now that it has just been email, I haven’t really been able to talk to them that much. Really Rutgers has been talking to me the most since the new rule.”
The lack of contact may slow down Telemaque’s decision timetable. He initially planned to get his choice out of the way rather quickly. Now, however, the lack of information on some of the schools has caused him to reconsider.
“I told a lot of people that I was probably going to commit early, which I still might be doing,” he said. “But I believe that I need to take some visits. I don’t know that if I committed somewhere right now that I would be able to do that. I think I might have to stick it out and take my visits to the top places that I really want to see. I’ll see which one is the best place for me and make my decision from there. It’s possible that I could wait until February and it’s possible I could decide next month. It’s possible I could take a visit and make it there.”
“I already know all schools are going to be great academically,” Telemaque continued. “If you want to get a good degree, they are all going to be there for that. Right now I’m looking for early playing time. I’m not saying I want to go in and start my first college game, but I want to have the chance to be in some packages during the game. I want to at least be in the nickel packages.”
The Maize & Blue has an ace up its sleeve in freshman Donvan Warren. The presence of Telemaque’s former teammate in Ann Arbor is definitely something the athletic youngster looks upon favorably. How big of a factor is it?
“It’s one of the biggest factors to tell you the truth,” Telemaque said. “I had a lot of fun playing with Donovan. As a corner, you have to have a relationship with the safety and vice versa. Me and Donvan had that little relationship. At Michigan, it could be that same relationship where we are a dominating force on the college level. With him out there, it made me look at Michigan in a different way. I know they have one of the top corners around because I saw him when he played with me last year. I talked to him recently and he said he is doing really good. He said he is doing his thing. He thinks he is going to be in the first group and everything.”
Also working in the Wolverines favor is the high regard for Michigan defensive coordinator Ron English in California. Telemaque has already received ringing endorsements from people whose opinions he trusts.
“I’ve heard nothing but good things,” Telemaque said regarding English. “He knows what he is talking about when he is talking to a player. He knows what a player wants to hear. I hear everything about him from my coaches. There are coaches at rival schools that tell me he is a great coach.”
At this point, it’s clear the Wolverines are on extremely strong footing in Telemaque’s recruitment, but so too is one of the other programs under consideration. Things may not be settled between the two until he makes his official visits.
“I can honestly say I do have a favorite, but it’s a two-way favorite,” he said. “ I’d say Michigan and North Carolina simply because those were my first two offers. I give them the upper hand. Rutgers is right behind them.”
“I have one visit October 5th with North Carolina. That was my first offer and they’ll be playing Miami. Other than that I haven’t scheduled official visits yet. I hope to do that soon.”