James Vaughters picks Stanford over UGA, Tech, others (UPDATED)

Tucker linebacker James Vaughters shows his colors after commiting to Stanford on Thursday. (Photo by Chip Towers)

Tucker linebacker James Vaughters shows his colors after commiting to Stanford on Thursday. (Photo by Chip Towers)

Tucker linebacker James Vaughters, the No. 1 linebacker in the state and most sought-after recruit in Atlanta, committed to Stanford on Thursday.

He chose the Cardinal over four other finalists: Georgia, Georgia Tech, Alabama and Ohio State. In total. he had compiled scholarship offers from more than 35 schools nationwide.

Vaughters, a 4.0 student at Tucker, said he chose Stanford because of its combination of great academics and great football under coach Jim Harbaugh.

“I honestly believe we can do something at Stanford that has never been done and that is win a championship,” said Vaughters, who is considering majoring in architectural engineering.

In his prepared statement, Vaughters said of Stanford:

“Stanford University is a long distance from home but they have a beautiful campus, perfect climate, and I feel that they have great opportunities that I can utilize. They are a top academic school that is compared to the Ivy League, but compete in Division I football and a top conference in the Pac-10. They are also making great strides to become a championship caliber football team. Coach Vic Fangio, the new defensive coordinator, runs the 3-4 defense and I feel like he has the experience in the NFL that I will be able to feed off, to hopefully prepare myself for the NFL. They have done well in recruiting recently and improve more and more every year. I believe that they have potential to be great in many aspects.”

After the ceremony Vaughters said Georgia Tech and Ohio State probably tied for second for his services, followed by Georgia and Alabama.

Vaughters made the announcement before family, friends and teammates at a gathering a Rock Hard Fitness in Tucker, where he has trained since he was in the eighth grade. His mother and father, Vanessa and Jonathan Vaughters, stood on either side of him as he read a prepared statement and then followed his announcement of Stanford by donning a Cardinal cap.

Vaughters (6-2, 235) said he actually has had his mind made up a while. He said he called Coach Harbaugh to inform him about 9 o’clock Wednesday night.

“He was really excited,” Vaughters said. “He put me on hold and called all the other coaches into his office and they started yelling and screaming and going nuts. They were pretty happy about it.”

Asked about playing college football so far from home, Vaughters said: “No matter where I go to college I’m going to be away from home and get homesick I’m sure,” he said. “This is just a little farther away. I really didn’t see it as an obstacle.”

His parents disagreed on a that point.

“That’s a tough one,” Jonathan Vaughters said. “From a distance factor we liked Georgia, Georgia Tech and even Alabama a little more.”

Said Mrs. Vaughters: “I’ve already applied at Delta, United Airlines, Amtrak, Greyhound, for some kind of deal. Please let me know if anybody has any connections.”

Tucker head coach Franklin Stephens put Vaughters’ choice into perspective.

“If James is lucky he will be through with football by the time he’s 35,” Stephens said. “So he’ll have a long career after football. What better place to prepare for that than Stanford University?”

Here’s Vaughters’ thoughts on his other four finalists:

  • Georgia: One of the 1st things I love about Georgia was the coaching staff, Coach Richt, Coach Garner, and the new additions to the staff with Coach Grantham, Coach Belin, and the rest of the staff. Coach Richt has really impressed me with his genuineness and his focus on building a program with great players, who also have character. The Dream Team concept is very attractive to me, being from Georgia, as well as the opportunity to keep playing with my teammate, Chris Sanders.
  • Georgia Tech: “Georgia Tech is a special place to me because of its great location. It is rare that you find a great school that is located in a big city like Atlanta, with a great football program and tradition. Georgia Tech’s location and proximity to home make it very attractive and I think Paul Johnson is doing a great job, bringing in coaches that can help me get the most out of my ability and prepare me, possibly for the NFL. The switch to the 3-4 defense and the addition of Coach Al Groh and Joe Speed really interests me.”
  • Alabama: “The University of Alabama is the defending National Champions. Coach Saban is focused on building a program with players that win championships and graduate. Alabama will get even better than last year, as Coach Saban continues to build the program in, arguably, the top football Conference in the Country. Coach Kirby Smart gave me a great vision of where I would fit in to their defense, and the facilities are great and plus, I like that it is a reachable drive for my friends and family to come and see me play.
  • Ohio State: “A school that I have been a fan of since I was young and always could see myself going to is Ohio State. They seem to be one of the top teams in the NCAA that has the most stable coach in Coach Jim Tressel, and I really admire what Coach Tressel stands for. They have always produced NFL-quality linebackers, and I have a lot of family in Ohio, so I will always feel at home even though it is a long drive from Atlanta. They also are consistently mentioned in BCS Championships and rule the Big Ten.”

453 comments Add your comment

Football Fan

June 17th, 2010
8:33 pm

He must not think he will make it to the NFL because if he did he would keep himself healthy and take underwater basket weaving until he got picked in the first round at a football school.

Jon

June 17th, 2010
8:39 pm

Vance, you keep saying Vaughters’ decreased his chances of playing in the NFL by 60% because Stanford has produced 60% fewer NFL players that Georgia. Has it occurred to you that perhaps Stanford simply hasn’t had as many NFL-caliber players play there? However, the ones with NFL-level talent still have managed to have fine careers in professional football (like Jim Plunkett, John Elway, James Lofton, and John Lynch). Talented players will be found, wherever they might play. And going to Stanford certainly didn’t hurt Toby Gerhart’s professional football prospects.

Contracts like Suggs’ are rare. The figure I found said the median NFL salary is $770,000. If the average career is 3.5 years, then a typical NFL player might earn around $2.7 million during his playing days. That’s not very much money. While a good education is available at many colleges for those with the motivation necessary, it’s hard to fault Vaughters for going to Stanford.

skeered

June 17th, 2010
8:41 pm

Pup fans are seriously overhyping this Jones kid, like they do most of their recruits. Either the USC doctors are correct and he shouldn’t be playing football, or Lane was using the injury as an excuse to get an underperforming player off the roster.

Juan Pardell

June 17th, 2010
8:44 pm

Vance: Do you want to know what an education in engineering at Stanford can do for a person?

Sergey Brin & Larry Page, co-founders of Google and Stanford engineering graduate students. Each has a net worth of approxmiately $17.5 billion. Hmmmm. How does that compare with $79 million?

Vance

June 17th, 2010
8:55 pm

Hmmm…

In the last 3 years at Dallas, Ware has 220 tackles, 45 sacks, and 15 forced fumbles.

Landed him a $79 million contract.

Grantham was his coach.

Vaughters chose NOT to work with Grantham.

Hmmm….

enough about academics

June 17th, 2010
9:00 pm

Half of the billionaires in America did not graduate from college. More football players turndown scholarships from Stanford than accept. If the kid wants to go to Stanford, then good for him. Its his choice and I think the kid is smart I hope he has a good life. BIRDDAWGONE

not impressed

June 17th, 2010
9:01 pm

Bill Gates was a college dropout so how’s that for a college education? Sam Walton the founder of walmart didn’t graduate from high school. A shining star can overcome the lack of having that piece of paper. But I suppose it helps us dummies get a better job.

track dawg

June 17th, 2010
9:15 pm

Skeered Jones played at USC as a true freshman that should say a lot about his being over hyped. Why don’t you just stop hating.

dawgster

June 17th, 2010
9:33 pm

How bout that Tampa Gator letting all dawg fans know how knowledgable he is and that the mighty gators have secured another committment from the number 1 fullback in the nation..Seems like on all his posts that every player they sign is the number 1 player in the nation at there position..Why do the other football programs even bother to field teams year end and year out…Don’t know anything about this new player, but it always amazes how much info that TampaGator has…He is the most knowledgable person in the “whole wide world” on the the gator football and dawg football programs…He knows all and sees all…TampaGator, its ok to show us your vast knowledge, but enough of your continued jabs at the dawgs…We all know that the gators have been on a roll and have the dawgs number, but things change and when they do i hope you are man enough to admit it…

BC Bulldog

June 17th, 2010
9:34 pm

Good grief. What kind of teenage ballplayer CHOOSES to live AS FAR AWAY from his friends, and family members, as HUMANLY POSSIBLE? He;s literally on the other side of the United States. What was this kid thinking? Where’s the kids love for the relationships around him? You don’t see that everyday. Unbelievable. I got to say when I heard he had turned down Georgia and Georgia Tech I was stunned. Really, really, horrible decision for the people that loves this kid, can’t believe it. can you imagine how his MOM feels? Unreal.

Delbert D.

June 17th, 2010
9:38 pm

All this “cutting chances by 60%” has nothing to do with cause and effect. The individual’s ability and performance has everything to do with cause and effect.

Pi$$onaDawg

June 17th, 2010
9:40 pm

STANFORD has a better chance of being on TV and winning the Pac-? (now that USC is gone) and playing in the Rose Bowl, than UGA has a shot at bPlaying in the GA dome and winning the SEC East.

Vance

June 17th, 2010
9:41 pm

Hmmm.

Man, with that $79 mill, wonder what Grantham’s boy Demarcus Ware is gonna do with all that dough? How about using about 1/3rd of it to buy 100 $250,000 houses? Paying cash. Renting them all out for $2000 a month. Nice income of about $200,000 a month, without workin’, for life. And selling them all in 25 years at the top of the economy and tripling his money to clear about $75 million cash–$100 mill over 25 years + the other $50 mill he didn’t spend, $150 mill?

$150 mill.

Hmmmmm….

Delbert D.

June 17th, 2010
9:44 pm

BC Bulldog – Needs more sarcasm and irony; hard to tell if it is a joke.

Jarvis Jones did. Then ‘Lil Lane and the Big Monte told him he was not wanted (he already knew he didn’t want them).

Delbert D.

June 17th, 2010
9:46 pm

There is just not enough NFL money to go around for the Dreamsicle team. Some of them have to look like lesser players in comparison.

Vance failed statistics

June 17th, 2010
9:51 pm

The odds of playing in the NFL, having played football at UGA or Stanford are very very small.

There are only 2250 or so NFL roster spots. The average NFL career is 3.5 years. So, let’s say that 650 slots come open per year.

Let’s say that there are 118 D-1 programs x 90 football players each. That’s 10,600. The NFL draft has 255 picks each year. Assuming most draftees are seniors (10,600/4), that’s approximately a one in ten shot at being drafted. And so what about being drafted, many are not signed. And even fewer ever receive the big multi-million dollar contracts.

And finally, here’s some data on salary expectations from various schools and majors. UGA is nowhere to be found, as you would expect. Face it, UGA pales in comparison to the education provided by Stanford, as do most universities on this planet!

Vance failed statistics

June 17th, 2010
9:51 pm

Delbert D.

June 17th, 2010
9:59 pm

A billion dollars ain’t what it used to be:

“On September 30, 2009, Forbes Magazine released the 400 richest Americans list, revealing for the first time in seven years that the richest Americans are not as rich as they once were. For the second year in a row, Bill Gates topped the list, with investor Warren Buffet and Oracle owner Lawrence Ellison listed second and third. Also, you no longer have to be a billionaire to make the list.”

Delbert D.

June 17th, 2010
10:14 pm

VFS – Nice link. This caught my eye:
“In general, engineering schools produced the best starting salaries, and represented eight out of the top 10 schools in starting salary”.

Delbert D.

June 17th, 2010
10:25 pm

$$ are median starting salaries and median mid-career salaries. I was cruising down the list, and found “Party Schools” as a category! Woo-hoo! Party!

Colorado State University (CSU)______State Schools___ $44,100__$81,800
Fashion Institute of Technology_______Arts & Design____$45,200__$81,700
Chapman University________________Liberal Arts______$42,000__$81,600
University of Georgia (UGA)__________Party Schools____$43,900__$81,500
University of Georgia (UGA)__________State Schools____$43,900__$81,500
Temple University__________________State Schools____$42,200__$81,400
Howard University__________________Private__________$50,300__$81,300
University of Massachusetts-Amherst_State Schools____$46,400___$81,300
University of Oklahoma_____________State Schools____$44,000___$81,300

By the way, Black Hills State University is *not* the place to go. Dead last.

http://www.payscale.com/best-colleges/top-us-colleges-graduate-salary-statistics.asp

Some actual data

June 17th, 2010
10:31 pm

For those interested in Athletic and Academic comparisons:

Number of NFL players from Stanford (through 2008): 199
Number of NFL players from UGA (through 2008): 238
Historically a difference of 19.5%, not 60%

Number of HOF players from Stanford: 4
Number of HOF players from UGA: 2
Despite having fewer NFL players, Stanford has produced twice as many HOF players.
Source: http://www.databasefootball.com/

Academics:
Stanford 25th/75th Percentile SAT Scores:
SAT Math: 680/780
SAT Critical Reading: 650/760
SAT Writing: 670/760

UGA 25th/75th Percentile SAT Scores:
SAT Math: 570/660
SAT Critical Reading: 560/660
SAT Writing: 560/660

Result: Stanford’s bottom 25% compares to UGA’s top 75%.

Percent of entering freshman by class rank for Stanford:

Class Rank: % of Freshmen
Top 10%: 92%
Top 25%: 99%
Top 50%: 100%
Bottom 25%: 0%
Bottom 50%: 0%

Percent of entering freshman by class rank for Stanford:
Class Rank: % of Freshmen
Top 10%: 52%
Top 25%: 85%
Top 50%: 98%
Bottom 25%: —
Bottom 50%: 2%

Applicant Selectivity:
Stanford: Selectivity (% of Applicants Admitted): 9%
UGA: Selectivity (% of Applicants Admitted): 56%
Source: http://www.collegetoolkit.com

Both Stanford and UGA are great academic and athletic institutions. This discussion simply needed some better numbers for those who are interested.

Fight On!

June 17th, 2010
10:50 pm

I need to remind you all that you aren’t getting the Jarvis Jones of last year. He has a very serious neck injury and it remains to be seen if he can play. USC didn’t want to get rid of him. Contrary to all you experts USC is short at linebacker and Jones is really good so why would they want to let him go?? Get over your Lame hater issues. You’ll get your revenge game against Tenn. this year and maybe show Dooley a thing or two. By the way, USC isn’t gone though that’s what you would like to believe.

Pi$$onaDawg

June 17th, 2010
11:01 pm

Once again I am talking nosense. UGA has been to bor BSC Bowls game than Stanford. Why do I do this?

Pi$$onaDawg

June 17th, 2010
11:02 pm

UGA has been to more BCS Bowl games than Stanford!!!!

Actual Data

June 17th, 2010
11:07 pm

For those interested in Athletic and Academic comparisons:

Number of NFL players from Stanford (through 2008): 199
Number of NFL players from UGA (through 2008): 238
Historically a difference of 19.5%, not 60%

Number of HOF players from Stanford: 4
Number of HOF players from UGA: 2
Despite having fewer NFL players, Stanford has produced twice as many HOF players.
Source: http://www.databasefootball.com/

Academics:
Stanford 25th/75th Percentile SAT Scores:
SAT Math: 680/780
SAT Critical Reading: 650/760
SAT Writing: 670/760

UGA 25th/75th Percentile SAT Scores:
SAT Math: 570/660
SAT Critical Reading: 560/660
SAT Writing: 560/660

Result: Stanford’s bottom 25% compares to UGA’s top 75%.

Percent of entering freshman by class rank for Stanford:

Class Rank: % of Freshmen
Top 10%: 92%
Top 25%: 99%
Top 50%: 100%
Bottom 25%: 0%
Bottom 50%: 0%

Percent of entering freshman by class rank for Stanford:
Class Rank: % of Freshmen
Top 10%: 52%
Top 25%: 85%
Top 50%: 98%
Bottom 25%: —
Bottom 50%: 2%

Applicant Selectivity:
Stanford: Selectivity (% of Applicants Admitted): 9%
UGA: Selectivity (% of Applicants Admitted): 56%
Source: http://www.collegetoolkit.com

Both Stanford and UGA are great academic and athletic institutions. This discussion simply needed some better numbers for those who are interested.

Me

June 17th, 2010
11:59 pm

Alot of bitter Dawg fans on here. Could it be that they are awaking from the dream (team)???

Red/Black/Tedawg

June 18th, 2010
12:17 am

RICHT is asleep at the WHEEL (again)
We’ll pull in a Top 10 to 15 class then go 8-5 or something

My question is since Texas has there next coach waiting who
we going to get!

Flo-Ri-Duh!

June 18th, 2010
12:42 am

Come on trac dawg…. it has been predicted for weeks that Vaughters was going to Stanford. He showed very little interest in UGA. All along he said he wanted to go out of state. Jarvis Jones did exactly the same thing – he wanted to go out of state. Jones coming to UGA had nothing to do with Vaughters’s decision. The commits UGA needs the most now are #1) Ray Drew DE #2) Isaiah Crowell RB #3) Swann CB #4) Rome TE….. Vaughters was about # 8 on the list.

Learning from Tiger

June 18th, 2010
12:42 am

He’ll hit 300 lb lineman like Tiger hits 300yd drives. Maybe he’ll even marry a Swedish underwear model and hook up with Palo Alto trash at the local Chilli’s.

CardinalRules07

June 18th, 2010
1:10 am

Hey track dawg. defense out of stanford…

hmmm….

ever heard of John Lynch, played a little bit for Tampa?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_1Qsqo5w9M

he was OK, enough for 9 pro-bowls and a championship ring.

you sound like a girl that just got stood up by her date on prom night. grow up.

BuLLdawg

June 18th, 2010
4:53 am

Great players who also have character. Hmmm. We are over-stocked at linebacker and Stanford will be a FLOP in football. Have fun in California; I would not want to live there. And, by all means beat Southern California, which I will root you on to do.

Dickie Vitale is such an ACC homer, and his squeaky little voice, diaper dandies, and Duke is going to win, baby, B.S. is more than anyone can handle.

However, his Top 50 Preseason shows The Georgia Bulldogs in the NCAA Tournament, and just outside the Top 25 to being the season at Number 28. Mark Fox has it going, and we will have to announce plans to build him a gym that seats more than 10,000 and pony up the money after this season, as Mark Fox will be the hottest coach in America. Every school in America will be after him after this season. They should have been last year. It was an exciting team, and they kept the team intact in the off-season and signed our best class ever. This team is a solid Top 25 men’s basketball team, coast to coast, and should reach the Sweet 16 and beyond.

Kentucky, Florida, Tennessee, and Georgia should all 4 be ranked in the Top 25 all season long. In old days, 1 would figure Georgia would be as Dickie V ranks us – worse than all them in Number 4 SEC East. I don’t see it that way.

Vitale has Kentucky # 6, Florida # 8, and Tennessee # 13.

Paul Hewitt’s Georgia tek ?

BuLLdawg

June 18th, 2010
4:54 am

Georgia tek is
No where to be found.

Not in the Top 40 Dickie V 2010-2011. It will be an exciting season with Mark Fox having it going on in Athens. No one wants to play Georgia. We picked up sharpshooters outside to go with our inside game and a point. We also will place several in the Top 10 NBA Draft after this dream season.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/dickvitale/news/story?id=5292918

In College Sports, you can have a dream team in recruiting that fits the needs of the solid team in place who gave the nation fits last year, and have a Dream Season; or, you can lament who you lost, brag on those who remain, tell the recruits come join a dream recruiting team for an 8-5 team, and say you are going to be better than last year when there is not anyway in hell we can be worse – like being better than 8-5 for the # 11 College Football Program in All-Time 1-A Wins is the goal. Or, 10-win season either in 14-game seasons nowadays, us on the outside looking in.

I dream of the Day when we have a Dream Season in Athens in Football and both Men’s and Women’s Basketball, all the Major Sports. We have needs for Facilities for both including a Practice Field and Offensive Coaching Firepower in Football, and a damn gymnasium for the Dream Season Basketball Teams.

Dawgman

June 18th, 2010
7:16 am

He’s not good enough to be a Dawg plane and simple! Good luck on the Left Coast loser!

Flo-Ri-Duh!

June 18th, 2010
7:36 am

Vaughters stated all along that he wanted to go out of state ….. weeks ago it was obvious that he had decided on Stanford. It is unlikely that he will be playing any SEC teams – so I wish you the best of luck.

Tucker Lions

June 18th, 2010
8:02 am

The Tucker Lion nation wants to congratulate James on his decision to attand Stanford. For selfish reasons, I wish he had chosen UGA or Tech, but he is going to a great school and we wish him the best. Don’t forget where you came from and always remember TFL will support you wherever you go. Good luck in the fall and bring another championship to Tucker High School.

All of you people who make these outrageous comments usually do not know the people you are talking about. If you want to cheer for your school and give other schools a hard time, that’s OK. When you bad mouth a 17 year old’s decision to not go to your school and give off the wall reasons his choice was bad, then I feel sorry for you.

WeLoveCoachRicht

June 18th, 2010
8:11 am

No matter what

WeLoveCoachRicht

June 18th, 2010
8:12 am

PS

Just dont lose to Kentucky and vandy no more

Go DAWGS

Bulldog59

June 18th, 2010
8:43 am

Good luck to Vaughters at an excellent school. 2500 miles is a long way from home and family. Don’t be surprised if he ends up back east after a year or two. Either way, smart kid, will do very well wherever he plays.

Clint

June 18th, 2010
8:59 am

Dawg Tired, John Elway stopped playing in 1998. James Lofton before that. Both were good and are Hall Of Famers. If you have to go back 12+ years to come up with an impact player, then your school is a non factor in terms of producing NFL talent. James might not even want to play in the NFL and there is nothing wrong with that. If he chooses not to, then the Stanford degree will help his future. If he does though, Stanford is not the place to do it from. Heck, Georgia Tech is a great academic school and they put players in the NFL. He should have choosen them over Stanford if he is serious about playing in the NFL. I don’t think he is though. I think he wants to be a student and then an engineer. Best of luck to him with that.

1eyedJack

June 18th, 2010
8:59 am

Harbaugh seems like an up-and-comer. After 1 or 2 good years it could be off to the NFL.

Pierre Garcon

June 18th, 2010
9:43 am

Most of you that talk about the NFL just don’t get it. Look at the NFL rosters for where all the players went to college. Hell, look at me! I went to D-III Mount Union College and I am playing in Super Bowls. Understand, these Colleges and Universities don’t produce NFL talent, they recruit NFL talent. If you have NFL-level talent, the NFL will find you. If not, you better get the best degree from the school that fits you the best. Great choice, James, regardless of whether the NFL is your calling or not.

christophorm

June 18th, 2010
9:45 am

He cares nothing about a championship ring… good for him.

Delbert D.

June 18th, 2010
11:29 am

The Falcons like University of Montana guys. They play for real championships. Got upset in the final game last year by Villanova, Finneran’s school.

Pago Pago Dawg

June 18th, 2010
11:58 am

The Stanford coach will not be going to The Big House. RichRod only has to go 8-4 to save his job and he has a very easy out of conference sked.

JC Snazzy G

June 18th, 2010
12:26 pm

UGA gotz 6 more LB’s & 32 more players active in NFL right now than Stanford–dat a fact jack. Kidz gonerz on chances by 60% of going Pro by goin to Stanford fo the perfek weather, fo real? UGA da straitaway highway to da NFL.

Juan Pardell

June 18th, 2010
12:28 pm

Vance: How many University of Georgia football players HAVEN’T made it into the NFL?

Stanford '05

June 18th, 2010
12:48 pm

Actual Data nice facts. The admit rate is dated. I believe the 9% was for Stanford’s class of 2011. For the class of ‘14 it is actually close to 7%. This is data released directly from the office of admissions at Stanford. As for homesickness, forget about it. Most of Stanford’s student body is from outside the state of California. There is no going home for the weekend. Nearly all students live on campus and it truly is that classic college environment. Stanford is it’s own ‘bubble’. Very few students admitted transfer out or flunk out. There is a reason why Stanford rates VERY highly in alumni satisfaction. Stanford alumni and students simply love Stanford. For the vast majority of us, we had a tremendous experience on such a diverse and vibrant campus. It truly is a place for winners on the field, and in the classroom.

Dawg Tired

June 18th, 2010
12:55 pm

Stanford Fan – You use too many facts and too much analysis to make any sense to many on this site. Analytical reasoning is usually ignored on this site. It makes too much sense.

San Antonio Josey

June 18th, 2010
1:32 pm

2500 miles from your friends and family at Stanford. Instead of 60 miles from them at Georgia. Does this guy live for books and libraries?

Jeff Dawg

June 18th, 2010
1:45 pm

Somebody needs to tell this teenage boy that the Stanford Coach Hourbaugh has only won 45% of his games at Stanford. Richt’s won 76% of his games over 9 seasons. This guy Vawters, must like to lose bcause he ain’t gonna be winning more than 45% where he’s going. Losing ain’t fun, this kids in for 7 bad weeks of losing a game every season with this coach. He’ll learn to develop that lose perspective from his coach. Not gonna get him far in life coming in planning to lose.