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Photo by Tucker High School
Photo by Tucker High School

When Jim Harbaugh decided to leave Stanford for NFL riches, several southeast schools attempted to move in on Tucker (GA) standout James Vaughters. As one of the top linebackers in the country, Vaughters raised plenty of eyebrows when he passed up Florida, Ohio State and Georgia Tech for the Stanford Cardinal. According to Vaughters himself Stanford’s football history, “has been shaky, but in the last five years it has been strong.” So when Harbaugh took off, Florida and Ohio State came calling once again.

Vaughters joined Score Atlanta’s The Official Visit to discuss his feelings on the new Stanford coach David Shaw and his decision to stick with Stanford. Of Shaw, Vaughters said, “he seems cool, a good guy. I’m excited to see who he’ll hire as defensive coordinator.” Whoever Shaw hires, Vaughters knows that the Cardinal will stick with the 3-4 defense and is “hoping for a lot of success next year.”

Vaughters’ first season in college will be Stanford’s first year post-Harbaugh. While Vaughters was disappointed that he won’t get to play for the new 49ers head coach, he understands the business and that coaches “move around so quickly.”

“I was expecting (Harbaugh to leave), that money is hard to turn down,” Vaughters revealed when asked what his first reaction was after hearing the news. “It seems he was preparing for the NFL.” Vaughters noted in the interview that he was not going to Stanford strictly for Harbaugh however. “You have to be attracted to more than a football program.”

Vaughters is still heading west for more than just the gridiron. “My decision was so much larger than football. It is a great education.” The chance to be among Olympians was also a big influence in his selection. “The type of kids (going there) are what’s keeping me committed.”

Vaughters reconfirmed his pledge to Stanford last week but he said that he had some visits scheduled. “I may not make them,” he said last week before he re-committed to the Cardinal. He noted that he wanted to speak with his parents on whether he wanted to revisit Florida and/or Ohio State. Now though he seems those visits will be canceled and recruiting for Vaughters has come to a close. “The process has been really exciting. I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to do.”