James Vaughters ‘disappointed’ Stanford D-coordinator likely out

Tucker linebacker James Vaughters had about 40 scholarship offers before he chose the Stanford Cardinal last June. (AJC photo by Phil Skinner)

Tucker linebacker James Vaughters had about 40 scholarship offers before he chose the Stanford Cardinal last June. (AJC photo by Phil Skinner)

James Vaugthers and his family got word that David Shaw had been named Stanford’s new head coach only a couple of hours before boarding a plane Thursday to make his official visit to the school. But who Shaw hires as defensive coordinator is probably going to play an even more important role in whether Vaughters honors his commitment and signs with the Cardinal on national signing day.

Vaughters, an AJC Super 11 linebacker from Tucker and the No. 4-ranked player in the state, has been committed to Stanford since last June. But he said after coach Jim Harbaugh left to coach the San Francisco 49ers he may have to reconsider his decision depending on what happened to the coaching staff.

Shaw, Stanford’s offensive coordinator since Harbaugh has been there, was tabbed the new head coach on Thursday.

“We really don’t know that much about him,” Vaughters’ father, Jonathan Vaughters said as they waited for their delayed flight to San Francisco at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Thursday. “I think James and his mother met him while they were out there on his first trip. But, being on the defensive side of the ball, we didn’t really get to know him that well. It’s good that they’ve at least named a head coach and we’ll get a chance to hear his point of view while we’re out there.”

The key with the Vaughters, however, is who is going to be who coaches the defense. Reports out of Stanford Thursday were that defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was likely to follow Harbaugh to the 49ers or return to the NFL. That could be a problem.

“We have heard that he’s moving on and we’re a little disappointed about that,” Vaughters said. “I don’t want to call it an issue but it’s certainly a consideration. He was somebody that James really took a liking to and was looking forward to playing with. I think since James is on the defensive side of the ball it’s just as important to find the right defensive coordinator and be able to evaluate that. So that’s another wait-and-see for us. We’ll have to wait and see who gets appointed that job.”

Vaughters is one of 22 commitments Stanford has for the Class of 2011, most of whom are scheduled to be at the school on official visits this weekend. Defensive back Ra’Chard Pippens of Ola is another.

Vaughters said he would confer with his fellow pledges about what to do. A 4.0 student at Tucker, Vaughters chose Stanford for its academic opportunities as much as its football program and has already been accepted into the school. So that is still a strong consideration.

Meanwhile, Georgia Tech and Ohio State finished in a tie for second when Vaughters chose the Cardinal last June. The Vaughters liked defensive coordinator Al Groh and The Institute’s engineering-based curriculum.

Georgia and Alabama were also in Vaughters’ final five. Mr. Vaughters said they’ve heard from all of them — and others — since the news of Harbaugh’s impending departure first surfaced.

“Anything’s possible,” he said of his son deciding to sign elsewhere.

In the meantime, the Vaughters planned on giving Stanford and Shaw their full attention this weekend. They’ll return to Tucker on Sunday and make some decisions shortly thereafter. National signing day is Feb. 2.

“This weekend will give us a chance to hear the plan from the head coach and find out what he’s looking for in a defensive coordinator and what kind of defense they’re going to run,” Jonathan Vaughters said. “We just have a lot of questions right now.”

140 comments Add your comment

dcbl

January 13th, 2011
7:26 pm

RomeDawg

January 13th, 2011
7:31 pm

I hate to see talent leave the state. I don’t care if it you don’t make Athens your next home, just stay in state. Be proud to be a Jawga boy!

Coastal Dawg

January 13th, 2011
7:32 pm

UGA could benefit and so could he.

Buzzzed

January 13th, 2011
7:34 pm

Vaughters, play for your state, play in front of your family, play for a superbowl coach, get a world class engineering degree right here at TECH.

D A DoubleU G

January 13th, 2011
7:36 pm

Good. Go to Tech. Please do not leave the State.

Just prepare to be embarrassed every Thanksgiving Saturday.

GO DAWGS.

bwell

January 13th, 2011
7:37 pm

I know the kid is to smart for ga, but he need to check out the school and academics, great school, plus uga is adding engineer? I know his parents want the kid to play closer to home. Please join the dawgs.

D A DoubleU G

January 13th, 2011
7:42 pm

What is going to crack me up, is IF this kid signs with Tech, then listening to all the Techies act like he will single handedly make the Tech defense an instant turnaround.

The kid is good, but who will he have around him on defense at Tech??

RRTDawgs

January 13th, 2011
7:50 pm

Hey Chip is there a good chance now that UGA can flip Ty Montgomery another one who isn’t happy .

dedi

January 13th, 2011
7:53 pm

Go to Athens!

Bull

January 13th, 2011
7:53 pm

I wish this kid would stay in state and make the ones who care proud intrad of isolating himself in Palo Alto. Networking with UGA grads will give him a tremendous opportunity. Either way stay home! Go Dawgs

George Stein

January 13th, 2011
7:56 pm

D A DoubleU G – Have you seen our defense? The addition of any competent player would be a huge addition. I generally think kids should honor their commitments – and who could blame Vaughters or Tuitt for doing so as they are both committed to outstanding schools – but we need defensive players in a bad way and it seems like he and Tuitt would be a huge first step toward turning the defense around.

George Stein

January 13th, 2011
8:01 pm

Chip – saw Marcus Caffey switched from Purdue to UK. Any idea what changed?

some sense

January 13th, 2011
8:02 pm

This is probably the ultimate in posturing by both the child and his family.

Bitter vince dooly

January 13th, 2011
8:16 pm

dont go to bammer land, satan has wonce again OVER-SIGNING playa’s and he cares less who gets dumped, according to my sources his motto is

——————-ITS STRICKLY BUSSNESS!!!! NICE GUY THIS SABAN

Robby

January 13th, 2011
8:16 pm

Anyone who can get into Stanford academically should absolutely go there. It gives the young man the best chances at future success PERIOD. G-Tech is a good school and all, but pales in comparison to Stanford. Plus Stanford clearly has the better football program at this point. Going to Georgia or Ohio State would just be plain foolish.

1eyedJack

January 13th, 2011
8:21 pm

Stay in state kid…Stanford would turn you into a complete sissy.

McDawg

January 13th, 2011
8:33 pm

hey CMR gives this kid a call

ManUp...

January 13th, 2011
8:36 pm

Being a Ramblin Wreck from Georgia Tech is a special thing that no one can take away from you. They talk and bark until they’re red and black in the face, but when it’s over you’re still the Tech man in the bunch. Work hard and make your mark on The Flats, be very well appreciated and then start your NFL career. Groh’s a great coach, and this team will do great things with the right work from the right group of men. You can be among them to make a historic turnaround. Go Jackets!

Francisco Marin

January 13th, 2011
8:38 pm

As a stanford graduate and season ticket holder I have to put my 2 cents in here. James I hope u have a very fun recruiting trip both to the farm and your other schools. Highly recommend it, lots of fun and should take advantage of the oppurtunity. If you plan on maintaining a network in georgia exclusively, then you should stay in georgia. Hopefully you make the league and your network will get bigger. Stanfords network on the other hand is international, I’m 33 years old and I can find a friend in almost every major US city and a myriad of world destinations. Everywhere u go heads will turn when u say ’stanford’, we call it the ‘S’ bomb. Additionally our engineering is far and away #1 when limited to D1 schools. The weenies at berkeley come close, and michigan is way too cold. So unless your considering MIT or CMU, come to stanford where the opportunities are endless academicly and athletically.

George

January 13th, 2011
8:38 pm

@ 1eyedJack.

Sissy? stanford would have handed any team in the state of georgia their butts this year.

1eyedJack

January 13th, 2011
8:39 pm

Al Groh has forgotten more than most defensive coordinators know.

Dogpoop

January 13th, 2011
8:39 pm

Best of luck JV. I have a feeling whoever gets your sevices will be getting a classy young man. I would love to see you in RED and BLACK. Georgia needs leaders to carry us back to the SEC Championship and further. GO DAWGS

1eyedJack

January 13th, 2011
8:39 pm

Wasn’t talking about their football team George.

George Stein

January 13th, 2011
8:40 pm

I would hope a Stanford graduate would know the difference between your and you’re. I guess sometimes you don’t get what you hope for.

RaiseTheBranches

January 13th, 2011
8:42 pm

I can understand some hesitation since Vic Fangio is certainly a great coach, but you can’t tie your college fortunes to one guy. I am certain that whoever becomes Stanford’s next coordinator will keep the same scheme in place, allowing the linebackers to run wild. It’s a dream defense for someone with Vaughters’ skill set.

Other points:

- “Networking with UGA alumni”? No offense, but no other school even comes close to Stanford’s alumni network in terms of power and influence.
- The ACC in general and GA Tech in particular have been a huge disappointment in recent years.
- Stanford’s defense returns two absolute beasts at linebacker in Shayne Skov and Chase Thomas (another GA native), with room for two new ones. With so many threats for opposing offenses to contend with, there will be plenty of hits to go around.
- If academics are truly important, you go with the best school available. Not to knock Tech, a fine school in its own right, but Stanford is the best academic/athletic combination anywhere, period.

THWGT

January 13th, 2011
8:44 pm

Go to Tech and play marquee programs like Wake Forest, Duke, NCState, UVA etc. Not to mention you would get beat by these lowly basketball schools and lose every year to the Dawgs even when they’re treading water. GO DAWGS!

Bama Dawg

January 13th, 2011
8:46 pm

No way I go 3 thousand miles only to get homesick. Too much of a coaching change at Stanford. Bama or UGA would be beneficial.

THWGT

January 13th, 2011
8:47 pm

Agreed Bama Dawg

Matthews Dawg

January 13th, 2011
8:49 pm

dawgster…sorry I was working and then my son had a basketball game. I don’t know anything about what McGarity and Tarkenton spoke about. I’ll make a couple of calls and see what I can find out!

I hope Vaughter’s looks at UGA again, but I agree with others, he needs to stay in state.

I also hope D A Double U G is right and he realizes that every Nov. he has a very good chance to lose! Go Dawgs!!

78 DAWG

January 13th, 2011
8:49 pm

The D was last in 3rd down conversions?!?!
Oh yeah that’s why Grantham gets 750k. Richt shouldn’t be fired but hiring Grantham and paying your 5th choice, the same as your 1st choice is why Richt’s head is on the block.
And let’s not win the Fulmer award next year.

Francisco Marin

January 13th, 2011
8:50 pm

JRW7

January 13th, 2011
8:51 pm

JV, come to UGA and play as a freshman!!!!

Stanford

January 13th, 2011
8:53 pm

If Stanford is his #1 and Tech his #2 he may feel differently about school than most UGA recruits. He’s not Washuan Ealey.

dcbl

January 13th, 2011
8:55 pm

George Stein – that’s priceless!

Simple grammar slipping through the “S-Bomb” cracks?

George Stein

January 13th, 2011
8:56 pm

Agreed, Stanford.

As I said earlier, if the recruiting folks are to be believed and he’s that good, I’d love for him to go to Tech. Lord knows our defense sucks enough that we could use him. But who could begrudge him for going to Stanford.

Douglas

January 13th, 2011
9:03 pm

I’m a UGA fan but even I would not turn down Stanford…he needs to go for it.

state

January 13th, 2011
9:04 pm

STAY IN STATE. thats my advice. Your family will be able to attend games and see you on game day weekends.

Daniel

January 13th, 2011
9:11 pm

He might come to Tech but he’s not going to UGA.

What?

January 13th, 2011
9:12 pm

Francisco,

You can’t even write in complete sentences and you expect us to believe you graduated from Stanford. “S bomb”, don’t make me laugh.

Raise the branches,

Stanford’s awesome alumni network must not reach the Fortune 15 company I work for. I know Notre Dame, Emory, Cornell, and even Penn graduates, but not a single Stanford alum. I guess the strength works better in Palo Alto than in Atlanta. Must be some of that supreme power and influence, huh?

Buzz Man

January 13th, 2011
9:18 pm

Pleas come to Gergia Tech and help us win another National Champshp. Your too smart to consider the UGA.

Mountain Dawg

January 13th, 2011
9:19 pm

He should sign with Auburn. They seem to be very skilled at dealing with fathers who have theur sons’ (financial) interests at heart.

Francisco Marin

January 13th, 2011
9:19 pm

Geez, i didn’t realize so many grammar sticklers, but I guess I invited it. Makes me feel like I’m in another fuzzy vs techie battle. Sorry I’m way more fluent at writing java and ruby, I’ll proof read next time.

RRTDawgs

January 13th, 2011
9:20 pm

So long Cam i guess your dad will be your agent and handle the money good luck with that .

Francisco Marin

January 13th, 2011
9:21 pm

Oh I think its more accurate to compare CEOs of fortune 500 companies

nuffsaid

January 13th, 2011
9:21 pm

Can someone tell me if a recruit has to sign on feb. 2nd? is that like the deadline?

George Stein

January 13th, 2011
9:21 pm

The good news for Auburn, Mountain Dawg, is that they won’t have that problem next year as Cam Newton is taking his talents to the League. I suppose that’s good for the balance of the SEC, too.

George Stein

January 13th, 2011
9:22 pm

No, nuffsaid. It’s the first day they can sign, not the last. A few years back, Terrelle Pryor didn’t sign until March or April and the year after that, Bryce Brown signed a while after NSD, too. I don’t think Tennesse fans need to be reminded of that era though.

Mr. SEC

January 13th, 2011
9:26 pm

To: James Vaulters

You could start this season at UGA. Look at the depth at LB—–IN, OUT,, and MLB. There is no depth, plus you have a USC transfer from the state of Ga. right there beside you! Oh, and you can get a good education at UGA! You sound like a very responsible, and intelligent young man. I hope you will look into the education part of your commitment. UGA offers a good education in any area. People can make or break their education progress at any school of their choice. It is just like football, you will get out of it what YOU put into it! Nobody is going to jerk you around when you graduate in the top of your class in your field of choice! At UGA, you are in a win-win situation in several ways. You win playing football, you win in getting a good education and UGA wins in having you join the program.
Please give this some thought!

dcbl

January 13th, 2011
9:36 pm

Francisco,

Your comments came off as haughty & superior. While you did not disparage GA Tech, OH State or UGA (all three very fine schools with strong academics) like ackJass boy Robby, you did come across as looking down your nose.

Plugging your alma matter is fine, but doing so in a manner that belittles another shows a lack of maturity & class. If you must behave like an immature grade schooler whilst extolling the superiority of your education, then proof-reading is probably a very good isea!

Hugs and kisses,

dcbl
UGA class of ‘92

PACman

January 13th, 2011
9:38 pm

A man is not a man if he stay near his parents all the time.
Look at Andrew Luck, LaMichael James…they are not from the west coast.
You’re a grown man and is very smart.
Go far. Explore the endless opportunities while you can.
I wish I came to this country earlier and have the grade to go to Stanford.