Kalija Lipscomb may be getting a bit more love than Ke’Shawn Vaughn this year, but with Kyle Shurmur gone, that should not be the case. Vaughn was the breakout star for the Vanderbilt Commodores last year, his first starting after transferring from the Illinois Fighting Illini. And he helped Derek Mason get back to a bowl game.
For the year, Vaughn averaged nearly eight yards a carry and rushed for 1,244 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also had 13 receptions for 170 yards and two touchdowns. It’s a crime that people put Najee Harris of the Alabama Crimson Tide ahead of him on the Coaches and Media preseason All-SEC teams.
This year, with Shurmur gone, Mason is likely to turn to Vaughn even more to be his all-everything back. His potential is so great that he could be a Heisman candidate. Similar to D’Andre Swift, Tennessee football did a really good job containing Vaughn, holding him to 25 yards on six carries and two receptions for 33 yards.
However, they’ll have to put an even greater focus on him this year. Vandy has beaten UT three years in a row and has torched them through the air in each of those games. This year, though, they’ll have to run it with Vaughn to win. That makes the 5’10” 218-pound senior a crucial factor in this series.