Memphis East Has a ‘Stud'

If you like your opinions sugar coated or your quotes tame, Memphis East High School Head Football Coach Wayne Randall is not a good source, but if you like appraisals that are brutally honest and comments loaded with spice — look no further.

Recently, this writer had a long conversation with the 30-year coaching veteran for an upcoming Rocky Top News feature story and found him in rare form. Of course, talking about one of his "kids" is always reason for coach Randall to rejoice while talking about two of his prize players is enough to bring on waves of euphoria. That's especially true when talking about the first two Memphis East football players to ever sign a scholarship with the home state Tennessee Volunteers.

That happened in February when line prospects Malcolm Rawls and Dan Williams inked with UT. The Memphians weren't as highly rated as other stars in the Vols No. 1 rated class, but Randall doesn't think Big Orange fans will be disappointed.

He does think Rawls will benefit from a redshirt season and acknowledges he has some work to do to improve his technique, but he hastened to add Rawls will work hard, learn quickly and produce consistently once he catches up to the speed and intensity of the game.

On the other hand, he not only believes Williams is a defensive tackle, he believes the incoming freshman could earn some early playing time next season in Knoxville. Williams was regarded as an offensive lineman by and some other recruiting services, but Randall doesn't see it that way.

"Point blank he's a defensive lineman," Randall declared. "He never left the field for me, but his potential is best at defensive tackle. He has great hands, great hips, great feet and great quickness. He's 6-31/2, weighs 339 pounds and is as strong as a damn bull."

East High School has produced more than its share of SEC prospects in recent years and currently has players at Mississippi State and Ole Miss in addition to UT. He's also got a couple of players in junior colleges that are expected to ink with SEC schools. So does Randall have any prospects he wants to tout for the Class of 2006?

"Make yourself a mental note of this," he said. "We have a stud next year. His name is Cassius Vaughn. He plays everything for us. He's a quarterback, running back, our best wide receiver. He plays free safety, he plays corner. He's our punter. He's our punt return man and kickoff return man."

Sounds like a great athlete coach, but how fast is he? "Catch this, and this is all electronic timed," Randall qualified, "he runs a 10.6 100 meters, and a 4.36 time in the forty. He's six-foot, 187 pounds. He's rushed for 3,117 yards in the last two years."

Vaughn's size, speed are nearly identical to Peerless Price when he came to UT as a defensive back out of Dayton, Ohio. Furthermore, he could end up playing the same position in college.

"He's already been offered by Ole Miss, Arkansas, Memphis and that's just the ones that have seen him early," Randall said. "He'll be a wide receiver in college — great speed, great hands, great vertical jump, great athlete. He's a stud."

Could Cassius become a Tennessee stud?

"If Tennessee isn't interested they're insane," Randall stated.

Enough said.

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