August 11, 2013

Baylor rewards Vaughns' patience

If you were in Verkedric Vaughns' car driving down to Waco Saturday, you likely could have felt the tension.

This was his third trip to Baylor. The first two didn't result in an offer. It wasn't going to happen again, was it?

"I didn't want it to be for nothing, but coach [defensive coordinator] Phil Bennett kept telling my coaches that I needed to hang in there. That's why I re-opened my recruiting.''

Patience paid off. Not only did the Mesquite Poteet athlete/defensive back receive his offer, he later gave his verbal commitment to the Bears. Verbal commitments are non-binding. The first day a recruit can sign a national letter of intent is Feb. 5, 2014.

"I was stunned with the offer because I thought it might come after [Saturday's scrimmage],'' Vaughns said. "I got it before the scrimmage and then I got to hang out with the coaches. It was really cool. My family and I talked about what this meant. And I thought I've got to take this. This is a great opportunity.''

Vaughns becomes the 23rd member of the class and essentially takes the spot vacated by Allen's Chad Adams who switched his commitment to Arizona State last week. Baylor is asking the three-star athlete to play cornerback and special teams.

As this process lengthened, Vaughns grew frustrated as BCS programs like Baylor and Texas Tech kept taking a look but opted not to offer yet. He had reeled in 12 offers but only one from a BCS school (Iowa). Vaughns attended Baylor's June 9 camp in Waco but didn't come away with an offer. That led him to committing to Arkansas State in early June.

"But all of the schools that I had been talking to still contacted me after I committed to Arkansas State. I also got their offer letters in the mail.''

Vaughns enters the second of a two-year starting stint for the Pirates. He has the versatility to play corner or safety. His hips are pretty smooth when it comes to change of direction. He collected two interceptions last year and has vowed to up that total this fall. Poteet starts fall workouts Monday.

"This is such a free feeling,'' he said. "Now, I can just go out there and make incredible plays. I'm done with my recruiting.''

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