Vaughn is a rookie out of Kansas State, and definitely embodies the cliche saying “he may not have height, but he’s got heart.” The short speedster lit it up in his three years with the K-State Wildcats, tallying the second most rushing yards for his career in school history.
So the Dallas Cowboys decided to give Vaughn a shot to show out, and chose him with a sixth round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Deuce is the shortest player to ever be drafted into the NFL since the league started tracking measurements at the combine.
Vaughn’s early success shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. He’s been doing this for a while. In just three seasons at Kansas State Deuce Vaughn rushed for more than 3,600 yards (second most in KState history) and scored 38 total touchdowns. He was named an All-American in 2021 and 2022.
In Dallas, he has a real chance to make an impact now that Ezekiel Elliott no longer occupies a spot on the Cowboys’ depth chart. Though Ronald Jones was added in free agency and Tony Pollard is a lock to start, the short king could get some run.
Vaughn’s father is Chris Vaughn, assistant director of college scouting for the Cowboys. Although he removed himself from the decision that placed his son on the team, he still got to deliver the good news.
In a clip of that moment, Vaughn speaks with his son on speakerphone as he’s surrounded by Cowboys executives and a camera crew.
“You want to come and work with me next week?” Vaughn asks.
“I wouldn’t mind that at all,” his son replies.
“We’re so happy to have you on the Dallas Cowboys,” Jerry Hall, the team’s owner, then tells Deuce Vaughn. “You earned every ounce of me being able to make this call. You are now a Dallas Cowboy, your daddy just handed the card in. Congratulations!”
It’s not uncommon for shorter running backs to have success in the NFL. Vaughn has already drawn comparisons to names of former short halfbacks like Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren Sproles, and they had long, great careers in the league.
Speed is always an asset in the NFL, and I’ve always been told that it’s good for backs to have low centers of gravity, so Deuce Vaughn could be quite the player if he makes it onto Cowboys 53-man roster.
Vaughn’s selection could potentially be a steal for Dallas as the former Kansas State product has real explosiveness and “bend and cut at crisp angles,” according to NFL.com.
He is already being compared to Darren Sproles, who was a fiery 5-foot-6 running back for the Eagles and Saints.
Last season with the Wildcats, Vaughn had 1,558 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, along with 42 catches for 378 yards and three receiving touchdowns.
Vaughn’s father, Chris Vaughn, is the assistant director of college scouting for Dallas and got to call his son with the life-altering news after the Cowboys confirmed their selection.
“But look here man, you want to come to work with me next week?” Chris said on the phone with tears in his eyes.
“I wouldn’t mind that at all,” Vaughn responded.
In a video posted by the Cowboys, Chris is seen hugging team owner and general manager Jerry Jones.
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