Up Close: Shaun Draughn, Part II

TARBORO – After watching just a few video clips of North Carolina commitment Shaun Draughn, it's easy to see he has the makings of a future college star. A big reason for his rapidly growing reputation and success on the field is the way he handles himself away from football.

  • The Draughn Video

  • Part I

    The son of two evangelistic parents – both ministers – Draughn has certainly been raised in a devout family atmosphere. But he still has to cross the Tarboro streets everyday and face the temptations that could destroy his dreams.

    "My mom and dad are preachers, and they keep me in line," Draughn said.

    Draughn admits he's no angel and has run afoul of perfection on several occasions. After all, "Kids will be kids, you know," as he puts it.

    But each day he has avoided the many pitfalls of youth experimentation. Draughn – through football – has built himself a bridge over potential distractions that gets sturdier with each passing day.

    "It's easy for me now," he said. "It used to be like, ‘Uh-oh, what am I going to say to these guys. Do they want me to go with them when they drink and smoke?'

    "I use football to stay away from peer pressure and trying to fit in. But I didn't really get out there with the drugs and drinking and everything, I've just realized all I want to do is go to school and play football.

    "It's easy for me now, though. I don't put myself in that type of situation."

    Draughn, who also plays basketball, said once he got to high school, it became much easier for him to stay focused on school and athletics. Pretty soon he'll take another step forward in his education and his career goals when he enrolls at UNC in 2006.

    "It's been a big burden off my shoulders – to know I'm going to play ‘D-I," Draughn said. "It's always been a dream of mine to play at Carolina."

    Fortunately for Vikings coach Jeff Craddock, he'll have Draughn's talent and versatility for one more season.

    As a junior, while playing quarterback, defensive back, linebacker and tailback, Draughn won Eastern Plains Offensive Player of the Year, Daily Southern Player of the Year, and Red Zone Player of the Week honors. He rushed for 952 yards and 18 touchdowns.

    Craddock says he believes the Tar Heels will utilize him either at strong safety or tailback.

    "It's just a matter of whether they need him more on offense or defense," Craddock said. "He's just as good both ways."

    Academics don't seem to be an issue at this point either. Craddock said Draughn's GPA is good and he just needs to work hard and prepare for the SAT.

    From a character standpoint, Draughn has made the grade.

    Click here for Part I which ran on Wednesday.

    Shaun Draughn Profile

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