Top LB James Vaughters takes hard look at nine finalists

Tucker linebacker James Vaughters wasn't able to make a scheduled trip to Texas this past weekend. The Longhorns are among nine finalists for Vaughters, the top-rated linebacker in Georgia. (AJC file photo)

Tucker linebacker James Vaughters wasn't able to make a scheduled trip to Texas this past weekend. The Longhorns are among nine finalists for Vaughters, the top-rated linebacker in Georgia. (AJC file photo)

Having narrowed his choices from more than 30 scholarship offers down to nine schools that he’ll take under serious consideration has made James Vaughters’ recruiting experience a little more manageable. But it’s still proving to be a difficult process.

“Things are busy right now, but not crazy busy yet,” said Vaughters, a rising senior at Tucker and the No. 1 linebacker in Georgia. “I was supposed to go to Texas [this past] weekend, but it turns out we had a death in the family and instead of going to Austin, we are going to Ohio for the funeral. We’ll reschedule our trip to Texas because I am interested Texas as a school and I would like to see the campus, coaches and facilities.”

Vaughters (6-2, 232) was recently named an Under Armour All-American and will participate in its nationally televised all-star game next January in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Meanwhile, he and his father are taking a methodical, one-by-one look at the nine schools from which he’ll make his decision — Georgia, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Southern Cal, Stanford and, of course, Texas.

“I really like what I have seen from all of these schools and it will be tough to narrow it down, but I hope to do that by early summer,” Vaughters said. “I really want to focus on my senior football season and bring another football championship to Tucker.”

Of course, Vaughters is taking Georgia and Georgia Tech under heavy consideration. Both teams are desperately seeking linebacker talent after converting to 3-4 schemes under new defensive coordinators. The Bulldogs are in the middle of spring practice and Tech just started Monday, but Vaughters said it’s unlikely he’ll visit either until this summer. He has been to both campuses many times.

“We’re planning to visit Georgia and Georgia Tech more times to spend time with the new defensive coaches, but probably not while spring practice is going on,” he said. “There’s just a few too many things going on right now to pin down when that would be.”

Vaughters is considered one of the top linebacker prospects in the nation. He’s ranked No. 2 in the country by Scout.com.

120 comments Add your comment

nickz

March 29th, 2010
12:02 pm

Come to UGA!!!!

nickz

March 29th, 2010
12:02 pm

Oh yeah…belated FIRST!

knoxdawg

March 29th, 2010
12:16 pm

Would love to see you play LB for the Dawgs but wherever you choose to go I wish you the best of luck. Make sure you get an education first because football can end on any given play. God Bless.

Turnt_Up!

March 29th, 2010
12:17 pm

Mr. Vaughters, we welcome your talent at Georgia Tech where you will not only be competing for conference championships, but also be allowed to receive one of the Top Degrees in America!

BigDawg

March 29th, 2010
12:19 pm

Come to UGA and play under a former NFL linebacker coach on your way to the NFL!

Go Jackets!

March 29th, 2010
12:19 pm

Play linebacker for the puppies and you will be part of the choke history…….Dont ruin yourself. Go to Gt, Fla, Tex…Better choices.

Go Jackets!

March 29th, 2010
12:20 pm

Plain and simple…..GT, FLA & TEXAS ARE MUCH BETTER CHOICES ALONG WITH BETTER EDUCATIONS.

Dap01

March 29th, 2010
12:21 pm

Congrats Mr. Vaughters. You seem to have a great future and a very good head on your shoulders.

Stay in the State of Georgia. Be a home state hero.

Be wary of Florida, Urben seems a bit off centered at the moment!

Gators!

March 29th, 2010
12:23 pm

This guy is the real deal! I watched his vid last year and it was jaw dropping. Jef Luc is an incredible specimen and potential talent that signed with FSU this year and I’d take JV over him 8 days a week. This kid does it right. And he’s a Channing Crowder, Brandon Siler, Brandon Spikes type physical player with instincts and attitude that would fill in REAL well at the MIKE at UF. There’s not a big linebacker in Fla this year that compares to him. Whoever gets him, and I sure hope he like orange and blue, is getting a gem and a future star.

Go Jackets!

March 29th, 2010
12:26 pm

He will not attend fla, i referee football in the state of ga and have refereed his games several times. He has stated to us thet it is down to GT, TEXAS & FLA BUT TEXAS AND GT ARE THE CLEAR LEADERS.

Nerds

March 29th, 2010
12:29 pm

I love listening to the GT sales pitch…..its priceless. If you want to be declared a Nerd and go to a school that is 70% dudes, hey its all you…..but everyone knows if you want to win a Championship, you play in the SEC.

ReptilesRule

March 29th, 2010
12:37 pm

Chip, do you know if James is coming down to “Friday Night Lights” at UF this July?? Last year, I think almost every player from the Rivals top 100 was there and I’m sure it’s gonna be the same this year. If he shows or comes to our spring game April 10th, I think he’ll be a Gator.

Bulldog59

March 29th, 2010
12:44 pm

Now is the time for the new UGA D staff to show what they can do. A strong performance by the D in 2010 will sway a lot of recruits to Athens.

AL E. GATOR

March 29th, 2010
12:50 pm

Kid ain’t going to UGA – look at the schools he is listing. He wants to win a National Title – and will either wind up at USC (kiffin has recruited him hard), OHIO STATE, TEXAS, ALABAMA or FLORIDA. These schools are offering the highest perecntage for EXPOSURE – and ELITE players want to go to whatever schools are HOT or ELITE at the time.

Geography is the ONLY reason he is looking at UGA or GT. ALABAMA and FLORIDA have a much better shot at landing this STUD!!!

The Dogfighter Returns

March 29th, 2010
12:55 pm

This dude is tech bound. Everyone in Tucker and Dekalb knows this. The pipeline has already been established.

Stingem

March 29th, 2010
12:56 pm

To be honest when you uga fans get on here say stuff like GT plays in a week conference do you really think a prospect looks at that?? The guy probally wants to go somewhere he can play right away and get a good education. So all that other stuff that is being said is pontless. he will probally pick uga imo though but best of luck to this kid and where he goes

wiley

March 29th, 2010
12:58 pm

Glad to see tech made the cut. Good luck where ever you decide to go.

wiley

March 29th, 2010
1:00 pm

Tiger woods..if that is your real name….the PAC 10 is not exactly much better. Stanford has a great education but tech has way more football tradition and a comparable education.

Cuttysark

March 29th, 2010
1:03 pm

This kid is a real good linebacker and will be an outstanding player no matter where he decides to go to college. Hopefully he will decide to remain “in state” to go to school. However, the fact that Texas is recruiting a kid from Georgia shows just how good the high school football is in this state. Thank you Chip for all of your great updates on recruiting.

For more Georgia Tech Football articles go to http://isportsweb.com. Go Jackets!

DawgNation

March 29th, 2010
1:16 pm

Sounds like to me he has already made up his mind on Texas. Good luck where ever you end up young man.

Head Dawg

March 29th, 2010
1:16 pm

You are great unless you go the way of DaRick, then you are ignorant scum

HardTruth Soldier

March 29th, 2010
1:19 pm

You wanna go Play in front of 40,000 and free hotdogs go to Tech, a team that can’t beat SEC competition OSU is your school. The SEC is the only way, and UGA IN THE LAST TEN YEARS has put more players in the NFL than “ANY” school in the conference. Look at the last Superbowl and it was three players from one school.

tony

March 29th, 2010
1:22 pm

I think it will boil down to how well our boys plays in Gratham’ s 3-4 defense. If the defense moves up in the ranking and if they win the sec championship, i believe he will sign with the dawgs. I just hope he doesn’t leave the state. Good luck to the young man.

HardTruth Soldier

March 29th, 2010
1:24 pm

Al E. Gator, You mean Like “Tebow” got exposed? Weak mechanics, or Brandon Spikes got exposed with a bad 40 time, or Carlos Dunlap got exposed with a DUI Before the SECCG. To much exposure ain’t always good!

#1 BAMA FAN

March 29th, 2010
1:26 pm

I think he likes the TIDE…..ROLL TIDE. RTR

GatorGrowl

March 29th, 2010
1:29 pm

I’ll bet you James will play in the SEC next year. Look for Urban to be personally involved in this one. He is a top priority recruit just like James Wilder and Tim Jernigan. Last year, Urban personally recruited Mack Brown, Matt Elam, Ronald Powell, Joshua Shaw and they are all Gators.

Wow!

March 29th, 2010
1:33 pm

Florida is on almost everybodys list, players want to play there and that is good news. Remember the names Tim Jernigan and Sammy Watkins………….big time Gator leans that are the #2 and the #32 ranked players on Scout respectively.

GatorGrowl

March 29th, 2010
1:43 pm

Half Truth Soldier…And all three of those guys will be gone by the second round of the NFL draft. Which is just a by-product of Florida Football. But if all you want to do is get in and get out so you can go to the league, go to the “U” or maybe just go ahead and stay in state and go to Georgia. However, if you want to win championships and then go to the league then there are better choices out there. And don’t forget to check out the academic side of UF as well because football is today and life is tommorrow.

South Ga Dawg

March 29th, 2010
1:43 pm

The hedges are callin him!!!

Vince

March 29th, 2010
1:44 pm

It was the A.C. Leonard show at the elite Badger Sports 7 on 7. He created an early buzz by his performance on Saturday afternoon and by the end of the day on Sunday, he had people hanging around to watch him after their teams had been beat out. He was that good. The Florida Gator commitment out of Interlachen really put on a show all weekend and ended up catching two touchdown passes in the championship where his team Pro Impact beat the heavily favored South Express Squad 26-22.

NFL Turns Out for Alabama Pro Day

March 29th, 2010
1:46 pm

The University of Alabama held its Pro Day on Wednesday, featuring 18 draft-eligible Crimson Tide players with all 32 NFL team in attendance.

north ga dawg

March 29th, 2010
1:47 pm

If cmr and staff does not step up recruiting efforts they’ll be calling for his head even thow he finished in the top 10 so many yrs if he can’t keep these kids in state it will be his down fall

GatorGrowl

March 29th, 2010
1:50 pm

Wow! …Don’t forget James Wilder Jr. He is also a heavy Gator lean. Saw him over at spring practice last Sat joking around with Coach Meyer….

ESPN to Televise 2010 A-Day Spring Football Game on April 17

March 29th, 2010
1:52 pm

Alabama has made 10 national television appearances in each of the last two seasons, which does not include these last two A-Day appearances on ESPN.

Over the last three years, Alabama has totaled 254,388 fans at A-Day. UA set a college football record in the spring of 2007 as a capacity crowd of 92,138 watched head coach Nick Saban’s first A-Day at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Last year’s attendance of 84,050 again led the SEC and an average of 84,796 have been on hand for the last three A-Day scrimmages at Alabama.

Come to TECH

March 29th, 2010
1:52 pm

COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!COME TO TECH!

Crimson Tide Honored by President Obama at White House

March 29th, 2010
1:54 pm

The University of Alabama’s 2009 National Championship football team was welcomed to the White House by President Barack Obama during a ceremony in the East Room.

President Obama congratulated the entire Crimson Tide team, while praising their “winning attitude” and mentioning the individual efforts of Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram, Butkus Award winner Rolando McClain and captains Javier Arenas and Mike Johnson.

31-0 at Halftime?

March 29th, 2010
1:55 pm

“Come to UGA and play under a former NFL linebacker coach on your way to the NFL”

“UGA IN THE LAST TEN YEARS has put more players in the NFL than “ANY” school in the conference.”

That’s the problem with some of the UGA fans, they seem to think that making it to the NFL is more important then winning championships. If somebody thinks that right now a guy would pick UGA over Bama and Florida because UGA sends more players to the pros then they are kidding themselves.

Georgia Tech is the place to be!!

March 29th, 2010
1:57 pm

Please come to GEORGIA TECH!!

RainbowJacket

March 29th, 2010
2:05 pm

Come to Georgia Tech…Paul Johnson ( I just love his last name ) is building a Powerhouse of young gladiators who will fight side by side against our opponents. You just don’t know the kind of love that is built between men when you fight in the trenches. Come to Tech and experience it all. We will be waiting on you silly goose!

Excelsior !!!!

Buzz Kill

March 29th, 2010
2:10 pm

GIT is comparable to STANFORD?????? LMAO. wow, you wish d-bags.

Gerald

March 29th, 2010
2:13 pm

Come to UGA and win a championship? Ummm … UGA last won the SEC in 2005, which was when Saban was with the Dolphins and in Urban Meyer’s first year. Oh yeah, and LSU’s losing their starting QB on the first drive of the SEC championship game really helped UGA’s cause. And as great as winning the SEC was that year, you lost the Sugar Bowl. To West Virginia. UGA has won 2 major bowls since the early 80s though. One was over a 9-5 FSU team that was also missing their starting QB. The other was over Hawai’i coached by JUNE JONES.

So, it is safe to say that kids wanting to win a national title or even a conference title should not go to UGA to get battered by better LSU, Alabama and Florida programs. Oh yes, it takes at least 2 years to put in a 3-4 defense. Right now UGA does not have any 2 gap DTs or DEs, and they especially don’t have the big LBs … seriously some of Alabama’s LBs are bigger than some of UGA’s DLs. And where 3-4 defenses require the DBs to blitz, UGA didn’t even use their LBs to blitz.

Maybe UGA will be better at tackling and fundamentals this fall, but unless Grantham knows how to coach a 4-6 defense – which is what UGA actually has the personnel for – I wouldn’t exactly be expecting a top 20 defense this year. Remember: Saban wasn’t able to put in his defense in Alabama until year 2, and Alabama had bigger DLs and LBs when Saban got there than UGA does right now.

Saban said

March 29th, 2010
2:20 pm

“Offensively, I’ve been very impressed with out ability to execute.”

Eight starters return on offense from the 2009 national championship team.

“We’ve got some experience in the offensive line,” Saban said. “We’ve got some good young players that have done a really good job in the offensive line, and for the most part we’ve got all of our skill guys back – quarterback, runners, Michael Williams has played really well this spring at tight end. We’re fairly pleased with the progress we’re making on offense.”

Gerald

March 29th, 2010
2:29 pm

RainbowJacket:

Really, don’t get your hopes up. Georgia Tech hasn’t built a program on highly recruited players since like the Bobby Dodd days. And as many merits as Paul Johnson possesses, he isn’t the guy to turn that around right away. Sorry, but if Georgia Tech wanted to get in on the 4 and 5 star prospects right away, they should have hired Charlie Strong (former Florida and South Carolina defensive coordinator, now Louisville head coach). Then again, we can’t be sure that Strong would have won 20 games and an ACC title in his first two years, even though Strong almost certainly would have hired an OC to run the zone read or some other option-oriented offense to take advantage of the talents of Nesbitt, Dwyer, and all the high school talent like them in the state. I still say that Johnson goofed by not going after a Rodney Garner, Lance Thompson, Ed Orgeron, Larry Porter or other big time SEC recruiter (even if it meant making them coordinators or assistant head coaches) and wonder if sticking with ACC guys like Al Groh and Andy McCollum is the way to beef up recruiting at a school that traditionally gets more 2 star guys than 4 star guys. But hey, things are what they are, so it is going to take time. Georgia Tech is just going to have to recruit better primarily by winning more.

Until then, Georgia Tech is just going to have to do the best job with identifying and landing the best 3 star players that they can, and add the occasional 4 star guy to it. That’s basically the Virginia Tech model, and its gotten the Hokies several Big East and ACC titles, 2 major bowl game victories, and it would have gotten them a national title had VT not been so banged up against FSU (their best WR and CB, and their starting RB were all missing or hobbled). Until the 4 and 5 star talent comes, doing better with 3 star talent than the schools who sign top 10 recruiting classes every year and have practically nothing to show for it (UGA this means you, and in the ACC it also means North Carolina, who hasn’t done squat with all the talent that Butch Davis brings in) will have to suffice.

Annual coaches' clinic

March 29th, 2010
2:34 pm

Alabama’s football team welcomed roughly 1,200 high school coaches to practice today as a part of the ongoing annual coaches’ clinic being held on campus. Coaches were greeted by the sounds of Eli Gold, as radio clips from last season are blaring on speakers in the front of Coleman Coliseum.

NCAA Football Picks: 2011 BCS Outlook

March 29th, 2010
2:44 pm

The Alabama Crimson Tide are favored at online sportsbooks to repeat as college football national champs. Alabama is 7-2 in 2011 BCS Championship odds with returning Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and a lot of talent on offense including quarterback Greg McElroy. The Crimson Tide defense did lose a lot of players but Nick Saban is a defensive guru so look for the Tide to reload on that side of the ball. The schedule helps Alabama as they get the Florida Gators at home. They do have tough road games though at LSU and Arkansas.

Class Act

March 29th, 2010
2:44 pm

GatorGrowl

March 29th, 2010
1:50 pm
Wow! …Don’t forget James Wilder Jr. He is also a heavy Gator lean. Saw him over at spring practice last Sat joking around with Coach Meyer….

He was quoted as saying “Yeah, Jeremy Foley made me apologize to that punk reporter from Orlando. But you can see I get my players back, right?”

Actually...

March 29th, 2010
2:51 pm

“Look at the last Superbowl and it was three players from one school.”

The last Superbowl also had 3 Yellow Jackets in it. UGA was not a special cupcake that day.

HugoStiglitz

March 29th, 2010
3:01 pm

I honestly dont see why any top prospect would consider UGA or GT over Alabama, Ohio St, USC, or Florida. Unless he really wants to stay within driving distance of mommy and daddy.

EW

March 29th, 2010
3:16 pm

Surprise surprise, only took til the 6th post for some Techie trying to make themself look better by putting down UGA… class all the way…

Good luck to this young man, he sounds like he has a bright future.

Decory Bryant

March 29th, 2010
3:16 pm

I’m impressed that Coach Meyer stood up for one of his players.

Too bad Coach Richt wouldn’t do the same thing for me…