Newcomer Profile - Vaughn Rivers

Dual threat Vaughn Rivers is the subject of today's newcomer profile.


DB, 5-9, 165 lbs., 4.5

Perry Traditional Academy – Pittsburgh, Pa.

Pittsburgh Athletic Association player of the year at 13-1 Perry Academy, the three-time city league champions … all-state and all-city for coach Bill Gallagher … returned five punts and three kickoffs for touchdowns … tallied 18 career interceptions.

Pittsburgh Post Gazette Fabulous 22 and Pittsburgh Tribune Review Terrific 25 teams … 15 catches for 225 yards as a senior … PrepStar all-regional … Pittsburgh City Player of the Year, according to the coaches' association … District 8 Player of the Year … helped lead a Commodore defense that recorded 13 straight shutouts, as Perry outscored its opponents 689-0 through the regular season, two rounds of the City League playoffs and two rounds of the PIAA Class AAA playoffs.

Perry scored less than 43 points just once during that run, outscoring its foes by an average of 53-0 … the shutout string set a new Pennsylvania state record and came within one of the national single-season shutout record (14, Daingerfield, Texas, 1980) before Perry fell in the state playoff semifinals, 20-3, to Hopewell, the eventual AAA champions … joined by Perry teammate Eric Wicks in signing with West Virginia

"It's nice to have a friend who will be going to college with me. That will make the situation more comfortable," said Rivers. "Eric and I are very close, so it's really the perfect situation; we both get to go to a great college, and we get to go together."

Three-year starter on both sides of the football, playing wide receiver on offense and strong safety as a sophomore on defense before moving over to cornerback as a junior and senior … WVU wants to use him as a cornerback, as well as a punt and kick returner.

"I've still got a lot of work to do," admitted Rivers. "I've watched some other guys I've known who've gone on to college, and I've watched the things they've struggled with. In watching them, I know I have to really work hard on my footwork. That's very important at that level. Also I've got to be very fundamentally sound and strong in good technique. You can get away with bad technique and bad fundamentals at times in high school, and just use your athletic ability. But in college, everyone is a good athlete, so you have to be fundamentally sound."

Also played basketball, coming off the bench for the Commodores as a backup point guard and a defensive specialist, averaging nearly six steals a game … also a member of the track team, where he runs the 200 and the 4x100 … an excellent student who is a member of the National Honor Society … a member of the Pennsylvania's all-state academic scholar/athlete team … will be a business major at WVU … son of Margaret and Anthony Rivers.

What Rich Rodriguez says: "We had Vaughn in camp, and we were one of the first to offer him. He accepted early and then went out and had a great senior year. Vaughn's a great athlete who could play receiver, but he'll probably play corner for us, as well as return punts and kicks."

What Herb Hand says: "Vaughn is another one of those athletes who could do a lot for us. He could play DB or slot receiver. He returned eight kicks for touchdowns this past year. We're really excited about him, because he's a tremendous talent athletically."

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