LB Vaughters reflects on Junior Day

The highest profile visitor at Stanford's Junior Day weekend was likely elite Georgia prospect James Vaughters. The No. 2 middle linebacker in his 2011 class, Vaughters has offers from almost every top program in the country, and has taken a strategic, business-like approach to the recruiting process.

The Bootleg was able to catch up with James Vaughters via email after he returned home from California to get his thoughts about the Junior Day visit.

"We [my Mom and my teammate, QB Norman Hayes] got to California on Thursday night," Vaughters said. "My aunt picked us up from the airport Thursday and dropped us off on campus Friday morning. We stayed until Saturday night, when we took the red-eye back to Atlanta."

Vaughters was hosted on the trip by fellow Georgia native Jamal-Rashad Patterson, and seemed to enjoy the festivities.

"The trip was great," Vaughters said. "Stanford was great. I was really impressed with everything we saw. We had small group meetings and individual meetings with coaches, staff and faculty. We had a tour of the campus, including the athletic facilities, academic facilities, residence hall and stayed overnight with my host for the weekend, Jamal-Rashad Patterson."

Specifically, Vaughters identified the time he spent with the Cardinal coaching staff as the highlight of his visit.

"Some of the highlights were spending more time with Coach Harbaugh, getting a chance to spend time with Coach Vic Fangio, and meeting and getting a chance to talk with Shannon Turley, the strength and conditioning coach," said Vaughters, who also got to spend some time with his recruiter, new secondary coach Derek Mason. "Also, the campus looks great and getting a chance to see a lot of it was really good. Stanford's overall organization of the weekend was outstanding. Everything went really smooth."

For the most part, Vaughters seemed hard-pressed to find anything that was disappointing about his trip.

"Everything went really well," Vaughters said. "The other minor thing was I have visited other universities that have larger freshman dorm rooms, but that is not a high priority for me."

In other stories on the Scout.com network, Vaughters has frequently identified finding a school that has "linebacker U" qualities as a top priority. Although it remains to be seen how Vaughters ultimately views the new Stanford coaching staff's ability to develop linebackers, the Georgia prospect did get to spend some time with another highly touted 2011 linebacker prospect while on campus.

"I got a chance to get to know Anthony Sarao, a linebacker from New Jersey, Charles Burks, a defensive end from California and my teammate, Norman Hayes, our QB that came with me from Tucker, GA," Vaughters said.

And although his Stanford visit might be now over, Vaughters will still have plenty of opportunities to rack up frequent flier miles in the next few months.

"We are planning to go the University of Texas next month, and we will make a visit or two to Georgia and Georgia Tech next month to continue to get to know the new defensive coaches a little better," Vaughters said. "Hopefully, we can make it back to Ohio State in the spring. If not, then definitely in the summer. We will also work to arrange repeat visits to UNC and USC in the spring, but it will be a matter of time and money."

As Vaughters goes on those visits and continues to evaluate the numerous schools fighting for his services, he seems likely to look back on his Stanford trip with high regard.

"I was really glad I had a chance to make the trip," Vaughters said. Stanford has really "raised the bar" in my mind. The professors we met seemed really interesting and they have long lists of accomplishments. The campus was really nice and the facilities were very nice. The stadium seemed bigger than 50,000 and the weather was nice."


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