February 27, 2010

Vaughters narrows list of teams to nine

Tucker linebacker James Vaughters knew he had to narrow his list of colleges sooner or later.

Virtually every big-time school in the country has been after the young star, who recently narrowed his list to 10 schools.

"Every one of the colleges I am considering are strong academically, and have a strong track record of developing players for the NFL and have an enthusiastic fan base," Vaughters told UGASports. "I have appreciated all of the schools that have shown interest in me. I think it is time for me to "narrow the field" and I wanted to share the things that stand out right now about the schools I am currently considering."

Vaughters said he'll be considering several aspects of each institution before making his final choice.

"I have felt comfortable with so many of the schools I have visited, so far," he said. "For me, it will be a matter of finding the best "Linebacker U", with great academics, a great student body, with student-athletes I have a lot in common and a place I feel 'fits' me the best. "

Below are the 10 programs that have emerged for Vaughters, who breaks each one down in alphabetical order.

• Alabama - "They have a great staff, great facilities, and Coach (Nick) Saban will have them competing for Championships every year. Based on what I saw, they will continue to get better, and continue to put their best players in the NFL."

• Florida - "Their Championship tradition is most recent, the facilities are best-in-class, and the coaching staff is one of the best. Just this year, they have 10 players invited to the NFL Combine, so for someone like me, that's wants a degree and a shot at the next level, Florida is very attractive."

• Georgia - "I like Coach (Mark) Richt and his staff and their focus on character and the whole person. UGA is close to home, so my family and friends can watch me play often. The new defensive staff brings great NFL experience and UGa has a good track record with Tucker High guys."

• Georgia Tech - "At first, I didn't consider Georgia Tech, because I thought it was just too close to home, but as I've learned more, I am recognizing it for what it is…a great academic school with a top-notch football program and a coaching staff that develops people first and develops players for the NFL."

• North Carolina - "It's a great school, both athletically and academically. The football program continues to be on the rise under Coach (Butch) Davis' leadership and they do a great job of producing players every year for the NFL, especially LBs. My Dad is a UNC alumnus and continues to tell me how special of a place it is and how he had a great experience going to school there. "

• Ohio State - "Both my parents are from Ohio, and I have a lot of family still in Ohio, so it would feel like being away from home, but not too far from "home". Ohio State is one of the schools I think of as being a "Linebacker U" because they develop LBs players for the NFL. Coach (Jim) Tressel seems to be one of the nicest and most genuine coaches I have met."

• Southern Cal - "They have great tradition, and in any given year, can compete for a national championship. It's a private school, so the academics are great and the student body is a manageable size. USC is also one of the schools I think of as being a "Linebacker U" because they do a great job of developing LBs for the NFL."

• Stanford - "The program is rising quickly and the academics are at or near the top of every list. I believe a PAC-10 title is within reach during the time I would be there and it's believable the PAC-10 champion can compete for a National Championship. A Stanford degree, would just be incredible, and combine that with the possibility of playing at the next level is a great combination."

• Texas - "Texas competes in a great conference and year after year sends players to the NFL. Texas seems to be one of the top State schools, academically, in the country and they get the best players from TX and out-of-state on those occasions when they go outside of Texas. I can see them contending for National Championships year in and year out. "

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