Some Oklahoma State fans were alarmed that there was no "Pistols Firing" message coming from the coaching staff or head coach Mike Gundy on the commitment from Forney, Texas strong safety Brendan Vaughn. There was little fanfare on Vaughn, who was a second-team All-District 12-AAAAA player on defense.
You would think the sack leader in the district would earn first-team honors but that's okay. The 6-1, 213-pound Vaughn is an interesting player to analyze on video. He is lightly regarded at this stage by the recruiting sites like Scout, but I am anxious for someone like Greg Powers to watch some video and make a decision on ranking Vaughn.
Powers told me that he saw Vaughn at the Next Level combine in January and he showed up well in that competition. His junior video shows a lot. First, I think it is safe to say that he will end up being big enough to either be a "star" linebacker or a weak side linebacker in college and will be more comfortable there than safety.
Forney lines him up in the box and down at the line of scrimmage quite a bit right now. You can see that whether he is rushing a passer or defending the run he likes being close to the action. He is a very physical player and his quickness keeps him from being blocked much by linemen.
The issue may be that he is so aggressive that he gets back in the backfield and is forced to commit too early and will sometimes take himself out of the play. When he takes the right angle and makes the right choice it is bad news for the offense because he doesn't miss many tackles. If he is on the right guy then the play is dead.
He is, as mentioned, a physical tackler, and that means head on he will give it a bull rush to the ground. He is shown slinging very physically ball carriers to the turf and if he is coming from behind, usually in the secondary, then he is a backache waiting to occur.
While he is very effective in the box and at the line of scrimmage, he is okay in the secondary in coverage. He gets his hands on some footballs but seems to be a little loose off a receiver. Some of that is due to zone coverage and some is possibly that he is trying to lure the quarterback to throw the ball his way because he loves action.
My favorite plays of all from his junior season is first a play not very flattering to the Forney Jack Rabbits defense as an opposing quarterback slips through the pass rush and keeps avoiding tacklers and stepping out of tackles for a long gain. Vaughn is pursuing from the backside on the play and never lets up and finally tackles the quarterback inside the 10 and keeps the touchdown off the board. It is a pure hustle play in the image of former Buffalo Bills receiver Don Beebe, who in Super Bowl XXVII chased down the Dallas Cowboys Leon Lett to force a fumble and stop a touchdown. This play actually reminds me of that.
The other favorite is a short field goal that Vaughn slides through and blocks, one of his two last season. He has a teammate scoop the ball and then Vaughn and another Forney player give the ball carrier an escort down the field for the touchdown.
Vaughn will get bigger, his football instincts will only get better, and he is going to get to play in the box and closer to the LOS a lot more at Oklahoma State. This kid is highly underrated and is a strong pick up in my opinion. Also, his academic information shows a 3.6 GPA and a 19 on the ACT. You love to see that.