Package deal? Stanford offers James Vaughters’ best buddy

Tucker LB James Vaughters has narrowed his final choices to eight.

Tucker LB James Vaughters has narrowed his final choices to eight.

Something tells me the recruitment of Norman Hayes is about to pick up steam.

The Tucker quarterback this past weekend received a scholarship offer from Stanford while in Palo Alto to attend the Cardinal’s spring game on a recruiting visit. But while the 5-foot-10, 170-pound Hayes is a good player and a talented athlete in his own right, it was probably no coincidence that Hayes had his best buddy with him on the trip.

That would be James Vaughters, the state’s top linebacker.

Vaughters has long held a scholarship offer from Stanford, along with about 25 or 30 others. The 6-foot-3, 232-pounder linebacker is one of the most sought-after prospects in the South.

And he was delighted that his best friend landed an offer from the prestigious West Coast school. Hayes did not have any previous major college offers.

Tucker quarterback Norman Hayes landed an offer from Stanford. (AJC photo)

Tucker QB Norman Hayes landed an offer from Stanford. (AJC photo)

“Stanford offered Norman as an ‘athlete,’ although I think he still may have an opportunity to compete at quarterback,” said Vaughters, who made the trip along with Hayes’ parents, Hayes’ sister and Devin Scott, a former Tucker teammate now bound for Navy. “But it’s a great opportunity for him and I am excited for him. Norman’s going to do some great things for us this upcoming season, and he’s a great student, on and off the field.”

Offering “package deals” to land elite recruits seems to be in vogue again. It certainly worked well for Tennessee, which landed longtime Georgia commitment Da’Rick Rogers, the No. 1 wide receiver in the state, because they signed his best friend, Calhoun quarterback Nash Nance.

Of course, others the Bulldogs utilized a similar tactic to secure the state’s top safety. They offered linebacker Zander Ogletree, Alec Ogletree’s much smaller twin brother, late in the recruiting process. Both signed with Georgia in February.

The fact is, every school does it to varying degrees. If you have room and the friend or cousin or teammate is a decent-enough player, sign him, too.

In the case of Hayes and Vaughters, not only are they close friends but their parents are as well. Hayes went to Stanford with the Vaughters family on their initial visit to back in February.

Nonetheless, the Vaughters insist they are not trying to work an angle.

“We [the Hayes and Vaughters families] think it would be a ‘nice to have,’ but we are not positioning it as a requirement,” James’ father Jonathan Vaughters told me via email. “James and Norman are pretty close and so are the parents.”

Meanwhile, the Vaughters have their hands full handling their own recruitment. They have narrowed his choices from more than 30 down to eight finalists. Texas was the latest school to be stricken from the list. That leaves Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Ohio State, Southern Cal and Stanford.

“Last week was pretty busy on the recruiting front,” James said. “I had a chance to talk with most of the schools on my current list, including Coach [Paul] Johnson at Georgia Tech, Florida, Alabama, Coach [Lane] Kiffin at USC and the coaching staff at Stanford, of course. I wasn’t able to connect with Georgia, although I exchanged messages with Mark Richt. . . . But I remain very interested in all of the colleges on the short list.”

So how about it Tech and Georgia fans? Think your team should find some room for young Mr. Hayes, too?

94 comments Add your comment

redeployed dawg

April 20th, 2010
12:43 am

Not sure I agree with placing the Ogletree twins in that boat. Alec had already committed when we offered Zander and that was only after a couple LB targets fell through. The bottom line was we needed LBs.

Clint

April 20th, 2010
12:43 am

This is becoming a distrubing trend. What happened to the days of having to earn a scholarship. Now it seems like you just have to be friends with a player that is wanted nationwide.

P. Bull Terrier

April 20th, 2010
12:44 am

I don’t like the package deal. With the limited number of scholarships available each year, very few players are worth two scholarships. On the other hand, if the lesser of the two players in the package has a realistic chance to play at some point, recruit him on his own merits.

hunkerdown

April 20th, 2010
12:49 am

All I hear about is Vaughters from Tucker. I have not had the opportunity to see him play but from all indications from what I read it seems he is the real deal. Man on Man could the Dawgs use a guy like this in their new 3-4 defense. Sounds like early playing time opportunity and a chance for Vaughters to help Georigia regain their Junk Yard Dawg glamour days if he elects to stay home and play in Athens. Good luck to both of these young men and stay healthy.

Gator Growl

April 20th, 2010
1:10 am

I’m sure it may have a small influence but I would be surprised if this were a requirement in order to sign James. He seems to me (from what i’ve read at least) to be very much his own man. If his friend has top flight SEC talent (which James obviously has), then I’m sure Florida would take a hard look…but not as some kind of “package deal”. Sadly, we would just have to look elsewhere for our future middle backer…

MrDawg

April 20th, 2010
1:23 am

Why not? Seems we just opened up two more scholarships, and if it gets Mr. Vaughters here then sign his friend, too.

Johnny DangerDawg

April 20th, 2010
1:23 am

Are all the “package deal” guys terrified that they won’t be able to make new friends in college? I’m pretty sure it’s easy for college players to make friends with their college teammates, considering that they all spend so much time together. I mean, it’s great to have lifelong friends and get together with your old high school buddies as you get older, but NEWSFLASH: college is fun even if your high school bff goes to a different school.

mmgtfan

April 20th, 2010
1:50 am

Best “buddy”? Why not use best friend instead of something that is making you sound jealous or something. Just my personal opinion though

Sister Bessie

April 20th, 2010
3:41 am

Sound’s like what doggies do, “good buddy”.

TheNumber34

April 20th, 2010
6:16 am

‘Tactic’ huh? Chip, you make it sound dirty. You guys in the media are so clean….hmmmmm.

UGA 82

April 20th, 2010
6:23 am

If they choose Stanford, I’m positive it will not a be a package deal. Stanford is a great school and sells itself. However, I do hope James stays in-state to play between the hedges but I can’t argue if he were to pick Stanford. Sounds like they both have great options. Good luck with your decision and GO DAWGS!

Tide Roll

April 20th, 2010
7:21 am

Richt Get involved with the UGA program. Sell the Lake House. Thanks again for James Carpenter and Chance Warmack. We get those guys out of geogia and you get Ben Jones and Jonathan Owens out of Alabama. Nice trade. Also Thanks for moving Kiante Tripp and Bean Anderson off the Offensive line. They would have made a nice left side. Similar to carpenter and warmack. Brilliant!

Bull Gator

April 20th, 2010
7:39 am

The fact that the Vaughters family would associate themselves with Kiffin tells me all I need to know.

I will agree that Kiffin is a better coach than Richt – but his character, integrity and basic dishonesty make-up screams to all that this guy is a snake oil salesman.

If you are all about hype – loose with the rules – and the when the going gets tough – get out of the kitchen as quickly as possible – go play for Kiffin.

I only wish that Kiffin was still at Tennessee – with all the players he ran off – Tennessee will bottom out this year and will have a painful year. It would have been fun kicking hte CRAP out of Tennessee ths year.

With all that – I will say Kiffin is a better coach than Richt. I really thought Richt was going to be excellent at UGA – but has proved to be a GOOD HC – not a GREAT HC – not an ELITE HC.
Look at the last for years:
– Against Kiffin – Richt got his BUTT handed to him.
– With better teams and personel – UGA has lost 3 of 4 against Tennessee
– With better teams and personel = UGA is 2 of 4 against Kentucky
– In the last 4 years against SEC opponents – Richt has a 10-10 record Tennessee is 13 – 6, Florida is 19-1.
– Zook has a 12-3 SEC East record in 3 years – ans we fired him.
– Jim Donnan was 13-6 his last 4 years in the SEC EAST.
– URBAN and Coach SABAN have left UGA in the dust.

If it is the goal of UGA to be an Elite program – and win titles – then it is the Head Caoches responsibility to put put together a staff that shares his vision, recruits the best players fo his system and go win games. He also has to make sure that the players he recruits are college worthy. UGA has fallen after a promising start by Richt – who has become less hands on and has lost focus on what UGA football should be about.

Enjoy your 8 win season and 3rd place finish in the SEC east again this year – maybe, just maybe – you will wind up 2nd in the SEC EAST – and be the 4th or 5th best SEC team this year – which would be a great year for UGA!!!!

59bulldawg

April 20th, 2010
7:40 am

Tide Roll,

We’ll take all the Ben Jones and Jonathan Owens you wanna give us. Don’t have a problem with that at all!

collegedude

April 20th, 2010
7:48 am

Falcon fans, come meet & have lunch with 3 Falcon’s legends & support a local charity at the same time. Jeff Van Note, Jessie Tuggle, & Buddy Curry will be there and have a Q&A session with those in attendence. Check it out here: http://www.falconnationcharities.org/lunchwithlegends.html

South Ga Dawg

April 20th, 2010
7:50 am

Vaughters should represent his state and sign with UGA. If he goes out west to Stanford something not right wit the kid anyway.

Another Dawg

April 20th, 2010
7:53 am

The Ogletrees were hardly a package deal compared to the Nash Nance payoff.

GA Sucks

April 20th, 2010
7:56 am

Let’s see.

A Stanford education or a Georgia education? Seems like an easy enough decision to me.

bigDawg

April 20th, 2010
7:59 am

ummmm in terms of the ogletree twins, alec had already signed, they just signed zander because scholarships became available, and they’re already talking about converting him to fullback…and ben jones? i’d easily take him, he’s got a mean streak about him and i love it

bob

April 20th, 2010
7:59 am

Don’t ask, don’t tell recruiting system?

Paddy

April 20th, 2010
8:06 am

Bull Gator…..you said Kiffin was a better coach Richt? Better pull out that stat sheet again pal, you must have read it upsidedown.

Gator Growl

April 20th, 2010
8:07 am

Bull Gator…I would suspect that the Vaughters family association with Kiffin is more about the allure of USC than it is Kiffin himself. I myself have heard nothing but good things about them. Don’t think this is a Seantrel Henderson type deal. Also, not too sure about the Kiffin being a better coach than Richt. Better salesman, perhaps. Better showman, absolutely. One wonders about which direction SoCal is gonna take now and how long Kiffin will be there although I will admit that USC will be pretty hard to screw up, even for Kiffey boy…

KD

April 20th, 2010
8:09 am

I still don’t understand why any kid from the east would go way out west to play football, so far away from his family. I know the education he would get, but a college degree is a college degree anywhere. Stanford is hardly ever on TV, and they don’t go to many bowls. You hardly ever see kids from the west coast come to the east coast to play, and there are several reasons that I just mentioned.

Courtney

April 20th, 2010
8:13 am

The decision is simple. Become a Dawg or become a secondary person.

Tim

April 20th, 2010
8:13 am

Chip – you’re reaching on the Ogletree angle. Alec, the much higher rated of the 2 had committed long before his brother committed. This situation with Nance/Rogers was different. They offered the lesser recruitied Nance in order to lure Rogers, the highest ranked player in the state.

Unless the main target is an “all-world”, “can’t-miss” prospect, not sure if you waste it. But, as long as the “other” guy is a good athlete and can be utilized on special teams and can actually contribute, I say why not.

Midland Dog

April 20th, 2010
8:14 am

Has Kiffin really done anything besides commit violations? I think the credit goes to daddy Kiffin.

Dboy Jones

April 20th, 2010
8:16 am

I am a Tucker Alum and a former UGA player and I have a really close friend that coaches these kids at the high school. Vaughters will not I repeat will not sign with UGA. He is bound for either Stanford or USC. He is a pack 10 type of player. Plus he carries a 4.0 so does Norman. These are 2 smart kids who put Education 1st. Norman goes to Stanford while his buddy goes to USC is my prediction. Stanford offered Norman strickly off of Vaughters. Norman is not that good of a QB. I mean Norman is ok but Tucker runs the wing T offense and he is good at handing the ball off and playaction passing. His arm is adequate not great by no means. He is not fast at all. He is a little shifty but that is it. Dont know any other position he could play in College. Not to bash the kid but I call them how I see them. He is at best a DII player in my opinion. Nowadays kids get offered D1 scholies like it’s nothing

Dboy Jones

April 20th, 2010
8:21 am

To Gator Bowl: You are half right sir. Vaughters favorite school is USC anyway but when Kiffin was at Tenn him, his dad and Oregeron paid a visit to Tucker and wooed the kid. He loves Oregeron and Monte. So now they are the coaches at his favorite school so you put 2 and 2 together then there you go. Chris Sanders is trying to get him to go to UGA but it wont happen. On a side note its amazing how so many of our Kids at Tucker that go D1 all come from Fitzgerald Park!! I was a Tucker Lion myself!! Best Park ball in GA ask Frank Ski

tharden

April 20th, 2010
8:22 am

James Vaughters is the real deal,N.F.L. 3 or 4 years. Bulldog coaches buy any means within NCAA rules.

dawgster

April 20th, 2010
8:22 am

Any idiot that has the nerve to say that kiffin is a better coach than Coach Richt is shows how little they know about football, Kiffin has no track record of coaching success compared to Coach Richt or anyone else in the SEC, ACC or Pac 10…Yes one game, one season he beat an average dawg team…Other than his recruiting tactics or antics, someone please tell us what he has done in the coaching world that warrents any respect as of now..I’m sure the Vol fans can help us with this, they know what he didn’t do for their program…There may be alot of coaches who are better than Coach Richt, but i can assure you that Kiffin is not on that list….

Farve Dollar Footlong

April 20th, 2010
8:23 am

I don’t agree with placing the Ogletrees in that boat either. Alec had committed months before they offered Zander. After watching these boys for the past fout years on Friday nigts at Newnan High School, Georgia got a couple of, not only great football players, but great kids!! We all know that Alec is a beast, but Zander is going to surprise a lot of people. This kid plays with a fire that you cannont teach.

ChuyDawg

April 20th, 2010
8:33 am

I am a true believer in making sure these kids end up going to the school they feel most comfortable with. The real question should be why UGA is fighting so hard for the states top-notch talent? And yes I get it, too early to commit, etc. But from all early indications, it seems that these kids are leaning towards out of state. Vaughters thinking West Coast, the Carver boys thinking BAMA. Something’s up and it’s time to wake up.

dawgster

April 20th, 2010
8:41 am

i agree that the Ogletrees situation is not the same, Alec had already committed to the dawgs and with the linebacker situation for the dawgs it led them to this decision, and if you have seen Zander play you would know what kind of talent he has, maybe on the small side, but the same was said about Curren, he turned into a pretty good player..With this being said, its really the school’s decision if they want to do these package deals, the coaches are the ones that have to take the responsibility for these decisions and how it effects the team…i think you are going to see more and more of this with teammates thru the recruiting process…

Bull Gator Really?

April 20th, 2010
8:44 am

Your handle sums it up.

Griffin

April 20th, 2010
8:53 am

Who is Chance Warmack and James Carpenter?

Gator Growl

April 20th, 2010
8:56 am

Dboy Jones…If that is true then it would be disappointing and surprising that a 4.0 student could be sucked up by Kiffins sales speech. If he’s going west, Stanford would make alot more sense. Seems to me that Florida could really offer him the best combination of all worlds from academics to playing in an elite program in the best conference and fairly close to home.. But some kids want to go away as far as possible or may be enamoured with a different enviornment. Still would love to see him stay in the South….

DX107

April 20th, 2010
9:22 am

Nothing against Vaughters but the Linebacker #1 on that team seemed to be on every tackle last year and was running around from side to side the whole game that was on CSS last year. Does anyone know who that was? I would offer him today.

BigDawg

April 20th, 2010
9:31 am

Overrated LB! We do not need him nor his friend. Let him go play in the land of gays if he wants. There are three others higher on our boards currently.

DX107

April 20th, 2010
9:33 am

Dboy do you know who the linebacker is that wore #1?

GT GRAD

April 20th, 2010
9:37 am

If Norman is a good student AND he can play WR or maybe A-Back……………..I think GT should offer both players.

How big, fast & strong is this young man?

Good luck to both players and I hope to see them both making great plays for GT!

McDawg

April 20th, 2010
9:38 am

NANCY, NANCY, NANCY, NANCY

DX107

April 20th, 2010
9:57 am

Justin Garrett is the linebacker that outshined Vaughters in the CSS Game last year and UGA has offered.

bigDawg

April 20th, 2010
10:05 am

i wouldn’t read too much into that 4.0 gpa….its a 4.0 at tucker…not too hard guys

IN A WORD

April 20th, 2010
10:17 am

no package deal unless its an out of this world recruit that will have three years of production before he bolts , if he is that good then yes offer his little sister if you have to

Team Atl

April 20th, 2010
10:20 am

Sorry Georgia and tech fans. This kid is a lock now to Stanford. He told them he wanted his best friend to get an offer in order for him to committ to them. Now he got it. This is true because I know one of the players for tucker and he told me last week that he was going to committ to stanford if they offered Hayes too….

DatDude

April 20th, 2010
10:22 am

Frankly, Norman is a great student and a playmaker. His father is 6′1″ and a pretty big guy. As Norman continues to grow, get faster, and get stronger he will become a great addition to any Division I football team. One thing that hurts a lot of athletes sometimes is the fact that they may bloom late and become a great athlete in college but won’t get the same opportunities as those that grow early. i doubt Vaughters would make would do that if he didnt think his friend woulsd have an opportunity to play. good luck to both of them

soulja!!!!!!!!!!!

April 20th, 2010
10:28 am

vaughters…………………Hayes………………Hudson…………………………all need 2 join SOD MONEY G

Gil

April 20th, 2010
10:36 am

If the player #2 is not a needed position, and player #2 is not good enough, then it would HURT the team, so player #1 would be selfish by insisting that player #2 come along as a package deal. That’s not a “team first” attitude, and a big red flag to me. We want them to bring along truly A level talent with them, that’s the way you win Championships.

OklahomaReporter

April 20th, 2010
10:42 am

@bigDawg: I’m amazed at the ignorance! i interviewed Vaughters and if you would look at his 12 minute interview on Scout.com you would come to the quick conclusion that he is a very articulate and mature youngman.

Dboy Jones

April 20th, 2010
11:56 am

DX107-Chris Sanders wears #1 and he plays FS for us. He has committed to UGA but he probably will play WR in college. The other linebacker that is really good is Slaughter. He has offers from everywhere too. If you guys remember his brother played safety for us a couple of years ago and now plays Saftey for Notre Dame. Vaughters is a little overated at LB his true position is DE and that’s where he will play. He had to move to LB because of team needs.

To GT Grad: Norman is like 5 9 175 soak and wet. He may grow but he may not who knows

To Bigdawg: A 4.0 at Tucker is not bad at all. Its not like Tucker is Cedar Grove, SWD, Stephenson ect..Tucker, Lakeside etc have good academic standards. Besides it doesn’t matter what school you go to in dekalb, gwinnett or whatever and 4.0 is a 4.0 and will get you into any college sir