Chris Vaughn couldn't be happier with life right now. "It's going real well," said Vaughn when asked how he's adjusting to college football. "Learning the plays is different. There's a lot more formations than in high school. There's a lot more to learn as far as adjustments on routes. I'm starting to get more of a handle on it. Maurice Stovall has really been helping me out a lot with it."
We asked Vaughn if it's been an adjustment to get open against college defensive backs. "Right when I ended my season, I started working out with a lot of guys. A lot of those guys were college players already and two were guys who were in the pros," Vaughn said. "That really helped me out a lot. It taught me a few tricks of the trade that I really didn't know. When you make that next step, a lot of guys are as fast as you so you have to learn to use your body to get open and that is what it's taught me. So I brought that with me here and it's working pretty well."
Vaughn said he's also met a number of classmates this summer. "Anthony Vernaglia's parents bought a condo in South Bend and that's where a bunch of us were staying," he said. "Anthony, Terrail Lambert, Darrin Bragg and I stayed there for a while. We all got along very well and it forced us to become a lot closer. I had a lot of fun hanging out with those guys. I've also met Ronald Talley, David Wolke, Tregg Duerson, Abdel Banda, Brandon Nicolas and John Kadous. We all got along really well. We're starting to really become close as a class."
Another impressive factor for Vaughn has been the team chemistry. "I've really been impressed with the attitude," Vaughn said. "These guys are going to play for each other. Everyone is so positive and excited about the season. The team is really focused on turning this thing around. Everyone is motivated and that is really good to see."
One major adjustment for Vaughn has been the lifting. "That's definitely been a big adjustment," Vaughn said. "It's a lot more intense. Just the pace and the tempo of it. You go really hard all the time. I'm also doing a lot more different types of lifts. I'm working muscles I didn't know I had. I was used to the running as I was running three times a day at home. But you won't know this pace until coach Mick puts you through it. I was hurting for a while."
Vaughn said he's also really been impressed with Brady Quinn and his ability to command the offense. "He's a great quarterback," Vaughn said of Quinn. "He's really throwing the ball well and he makes everyone of us better. I think you'll see Brady have a great year.
"I'm glad I came early. They gave me a lot of film to study, but there is nothing like stepping out of the huddle and putting what you read in a book or see on film and trying to apply it to the field. It's a whole different thing to try to apply it to the field. I've learned so much that I wouldn't have learned if I didn't come here early."
We asked Vaughn if he thought this gave him a chance to play this year. "Yeah, I think I have a good chance to play this year," Vaughn said. "I definitely think I have a shot."
Vaughn also thinks its a good idea for all incoming freshmen to report early if they can. "I would recommend coming early even if it's just for a couple of days," he said. "Just to see the transition you have have to make, it's a big change from high school. Also, I think you earn the respect of the older players. They know you are here to work and they respect that."
Vaughn says he'll be leaving shortly, but already has his sights set on an early return. "I'm leaving on Saturday to go back home," Vaughn said. "I'm thinking about coming back a little early just to get back into the swing of things."
Vaughn had that twinkle in his voice that says he's excited about this season. We think he's excited because he believes he'll see the field this year. We also think he's excited about the team chemistry as he mentioned it a number of times. We are very excited to get our first look at Chris Vaughn. He could turn out to be a special player.