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September 06, 1991 - Image 22

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-09-06

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Page 22-The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 6, 1991







by Albert Lin
Daily Sports Writer
September 1990 - Michigan
entered its 112th season of college
football with a serious problem to
address. The team's top two rushers
from the previous two seasons had
moved on for different reasons.
Tony Boles tore his anterior cru-
ciate ligament in the 10th game of
the 1989 season, an injury he contin-
ues to rehabilitate. 1989 Rose Bowl
MVP Leroy Hoard elected to by-
pass his final season of eligibility
and enter the 1990 National Foot-
ball League draft. He was chosen in
the second round by the Cleveland
Forever known for "three yards
-and a cloud of dust," the Wolver-
ines were in search of a tailback to
carry on that tradition. Although
Allen Jefferson and Dennis Wash-
ington were frontrunners for the
job, Jon Vaughn beat them both out.
But how well would this third-year
sophomore, who was recruited for
the secondary, be able to produce as a
major college back?
Vaughn responded with a 201-yd
effort in the season opener against
Notre Dame. He proved he was more
than a one-shot wonder by gaining
288 yards the following week
against UCLA; it was the second
highest single game total in Michi-
gan history.
"I felt good ... but I realized I'm
not going to be able to get 200 yards
every week," Vaughn said. "You

have to figure that I had one of the
best offensive lines in college foot-
ball history, and I was just using
them to get me into the secondary,
and then do what I had to do then."
Despite being slowed by an ankle
injury later in the year, Vaughn
went on to gain 1,364 yards.
Jon Vaughn made an impact. But
he wanted more.
Sept. 1991 - Another football
season dawns, and Jon Vaughn is
again in the middle of the action. He
leads his team in rushing in its first
two preseason games, scoring a
touchdown on a 20-yd reception in
the opener. It is the only touchdown
the club scores in its first three pre-
season games, in which it is out-
pointed 101-13.
The offense comes to life in the
final exhibition contest. Vaughn
scores the first of the team's three
TD's in a 24-3 victory. He finishes
with four-game totals of 118 yards
on 26 carries and 6 catches for 50
yards. In addition, he is the top kick-
off returner with 7 returns for 122
But there is a difference. His col-
ors have changed to the red, white
and blue of the New England Patri-
Jon Vaughn is once again making
an impact. But now he is in the NFL.
U ..
Jon Vaughn is a junior out of
Michigan. He'd be a junior out
there getting ready to play BC. In-
stead of that, he's going to be here

Former Wolverine tailback Jon Vaughn now does his ball carrying for the New England Patriots. Although
currently filling a backup role, Vaughn has impressed the Patriot coaches with his quickness. 9

playing against the Cleveland
Browns the next day.
-Dick MacPherson
Patriots coach
Perhaps this is all you need to
know about Jon Vaughn. While his
former teammates are preparing for
their season opener against Boston
College, Vaughn will be getting

ready for the Browns and former
backfield mate Leroy Hoard. He was
looking forward to attending the
Michigan-BC game, and may still do
so, but he made a prior commitment
to speak to a group of Little League
Last Sunday, Vaughn made his
NFL debut at Indianapolis. As the
club's kickoff returner, he took the

ball back 23 yards the first time he
touched it.
"I wasn't really nervous or any-
thing," he said. "I know I wouldn't
have been put back there if I wasn't
able to do the job and the coaches
didn't have confidence in me. So I
just went back there, caught the ball
and did what I was supposed to do."
With fellow rookie Leonard

Russell established as the team's
feature back, Vaughn did not c
the ball until midway through tt
second quarter. It was a carry he'll
remember. Colts Pro Bowl
linebacker Duane Bickett ran
through the line untouched, drop-
ping Vaughn for a one-yard loss.
"Bickett's a good player, so he's
going to make plays like that,"
Vaughn said. "I didn't get down or
He bounced back later in the
ries, bursting up the middle on se'
ond and two for a ten-yard gain. An
outstretched Colt defender tripped
him up at the end of the run.
"I made a couple of good cuts'off
of some good blocks," he said "I
just squirted up in there, and I
stumbled a little bit. I almost
caught my balance, and I thought
maybe I could go for a touchdown."
Early in the second half, Vaugh.
lined up wide left and turned a short
catch into a 20-plus yard gain. But
the play was called back becausethe
Patriots used an illegal formation.
The culprit? Vaughn himself; he
was not on the line of scrimmage.
"When I first looked over at
(the official), he didn't say any-
thing, so I figured I was on the
line," Vaughn said. "I'm thinkini
everything's all right, then I fin
out after the play ... I though; it
was holding or something, because I
didn't think I was offside
"It was very disappointing, but
I'm glad in a way that I didn't score,
because if I'd scored (and the play
was called back), I'd have been re-
ally upset."
He did not touch the ball again
until 4:50 remained in the game&
And Bickett was once again there to
greet him. Vaughn ran left on a
sweep, and Bickett stopped him for a
three-yard loss.
"I was trying to stretch the
play," he said, "because I saw Bick-
ett two-gapping the tight end, and I
wanted to get him to commit, and I
just ran out of field, so I just tried
to cut it up. I guess I just tried o
stretch it a little too long."s
He finished with an unimpres-
sive four carries for nine yards,
along with that one return. Bpt
that's OK, for now.
"I can say I've finally made It.
I've seen that I can play at this level
and excel," he said. "I can do sonre
things which weren't expected of
me, and have a lot of success at this
level. So now I'm just looking o--
ward getting better each week, an0
hopefully good things will come.';
Vaughn left Michigan aftr
three years. Because he was re -
shirted his first year and had only
limited time his second year, his de-
cision to enter the draft shocked tde
football community. Could somp-
one with essentially one year of cl-
lege football experience play in the
NFL? Vaughn is out to prove th
he can.
"My first reaction (to beig
drafted) was, 'Good, I got my foot
See VAUGHN, Page 26

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