June 17, 2010

Vaughters: 'Stanford best fit'

Stanford struck gold again in Georgia and secured a commitment from one of the nation's top recruit. Four-star linebacker James Vaughters (Tucker, Ga) committed to the Cardinal over Georgia Tech and Ohio State. Georgia and Alabama were also in his final five.

The 6'2, 233-pound outside linebacker is rated at #5 according to Rivals and had over 30 offers. In the end it was an easy decision for Vaughters.

"The thing I really like about Stanford is they have all the opportunities I am looking for," Vaughters told CardinalReport.com. "And they are on the upswing as well, I feel like I don't have to worry about the program peaking and staying where it is. The changes they are making, like bringing in coach Vic Fangio as defensive coordinator, and recruiting better talent, which I could see at the spring game, a lot of young talent.

"They are making the moves they need to to become a better program. And the education opportunities at Stanford are undeniable."

Education has always been a top priority for Vaughters and his family. And the atmosphere at Stanford was one James thought he could flourish in - academically and athletically.

"One thing I felt that really set it apart is that at Stanford I will be around a whole team of kids who are just like me," Vaughter said. "When maybe in another conference or another school where there will be 2 or 3 kids like me and the rest will be a little different. So I feel like I will fit in best at Stanford."

And the changes coach Harbaugh made on defense were not lost on Vaughters.

"Coach Fangio and his experience of coaching NFL linebackers for 25 years makes me feel like he knows what it takes to be an NFL linebacker and get me to where I need to be," Vaughters observed. "And he can get me to where I need to be to try to be an NFL linebacker and reach that goal."

A good relationship with the man who will be his position coach was a key for Vaughters.

"I had a chance to sit with him (Fangio) and watch film," Vaughters said. "The way he teaches is very relaxed, its not too quick, not too slow. It made me feel comfortable where I can ask questions and not feel I am going to get called out. I feel like the environment he creates is one I would be very comfortable in."

Vaughters is arguably Stanford's highest profile recruit in years and James said he will try to keep the recruiting train rolling for Stanford.

"I have been reaching out to other prospects that Stanford is recruiting," Vaughter said. "Hopefully with my commitment I will have a little more pull trying to recruit as a player."

Just a year ago Stanford got a commitment from another top-notch, highly rated impact player - Tai-ler Jones. But Jones eventually signed with Notre Dame.

With other schools sure to continue knocking at his door will Vaughters stay committed to Stanford?

"I feel like I have been through the whole process and took my time, I have been going on visits since my 9th grade year," Vaughters said. "I feel like I have been patient and seen everything I needed to see.

"When I got to the point where I knew I wanted to go to Stanford other visits felt like I was wasting my time, it was useless to me I already knew where I wanted to go. I don't want to waste anybody else's time and I don't want to waste my time. I feel very confident about the decision and I didn't rush it all all. I feel Stanford is where I am meant to be.

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