James Vaughters interview

As hyped a recruit as Stanford has signed in the past few years, linebacker James Vaughters has done nothing to lower expectations since his arrival on The Farm this summer. Vaughters has shown well in fall camp, and is a projected contributor at several linebacker spots.

After a recent practice, we caught up with Vaughters to get his thoughts on Stanford football.

How's it been out here, your first fall camp?
James Vaughters: Pretty good. I've been enjoying mostly the weather, and fall camp has been pretty good. I've experienced a small portion of what it's like now in high school, so it's an adjustment, but just trying to go 100 percent every play and just keep getting better.

Has there been anything that's surprised you, anything different than what you're expecting?
JV: Just the skill level play after play after play, how it can affect you play when you think you're giving effort sometimes, it really may not be that way when you're going against someone who is either as good or better than you, so you have to work a little bit harder.

Going back a ways, you were obviously a Stanford commitment, but were you ever seriously close to going to Ohio State or one of those other schools after Harbaugh left?
JV: I mean I took all those schools into consideration, looked at all the pros and cons of the schools, I just tried to make a well-informed decision.

When the coaching staff changed, Vic Fanigo along with Coach Harbaugh, what were you thinking?
JV: Well, I trusted the program, and it was so late that it would have been impulsive to pick a different team at the last minute. I trusted that they would find someone that was just as good as Fangio and just as good as Harbaugh.

What was the conversation like with David Shaw? I assume he called you personally.
JV: I actually can't remember. I know I talked to Fangio once he knew he was leaving. He said he knew I was going to be a good player and just work hard and to trust the program out here.

With you here, I know they have you playing some middle linebacker, some outside, do you have a preference?
JV: I don't. Every day I practice more at one or the other, so I get a little more comfortable every day at each of them.

Do you practice more in the middle than at outside?
JV: Well this week they had me more at end, but I practiced middle most of camp, but they were letting me rush with the line.

Do you think you're ready to step in and play right now?
JV: I have a lot of things to work on, definitely, but the coaches seem to think I'm ready to play and contribute, so I trust what they said.

Are there any veterans in particular that have taken you under their wing?
JV: Just being in the same room and being in the linebacking core and seeing how Chase Thomas and Shayne Skov work every day is definitely something, and just from an assignment standpoint all the linebackers, from Alex Debniak, Blake Lueders, Trent Murphy, all of them, they've been helping me learn the assignments.

Long term, where do you think your future is within the linebacking core, inside or outside?
JV: Hopefully I can keep learning both of them and hopefully by next year I'll be able to know all four of them in all situations so I'll be able to move around and show the offenses a lot of different looks.

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