MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – Deuce is loose in Manhattan. K-State freshman running back Deuce Vaughn is the player every K-State fan is talking about. Standing at just 5 foot 5, Vaughn brings a big game to the field.
“As soon as you saw him run one time, I think everybody did, like, holy cow, he’s an electric player,” said Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman was asked about Vaughn’s debut performance with the Wildcats.
“I want to be the greatest to ever do it at my height or just in general,” Vaughn told KSNT Sports.
And with his 5 foot 5 frame, Vaughn is already drawing comparisons to one of the greatest to ever do it, Darren Sproles.
“Whenever I stopped growing at around 9th grade I was, like, well, I’ve got to start pattening my game after people that have been successful at my height and Darren Sproles was the first person that came into my mind,” said Vaughn.
Vaughn says a lot of coaches from different schools were concerned about his height and weight coming out of high school, but for Deuce, height isn’t a problem.
“It’s my super power and that’s something that my dad also told me. People say, man, I mean, he’s real small. I’ve been this small ever since I’ve played football. I’ve been the smallest person on the field. I feel like I use it to my advantage,” says Vaughn.
“Everybody worries about a smaller back, can they be durable? Can they take those hits but when you’re not getting a square shot on guys because they’re so quick you’re not taking some of those big hits,” says Klieman.
Height wasn’t a problem for coach Klieman and K-State.
“It was crazy because the first time that I talked to him (Klieman) he offered me and that was big time because no head coach had called me directly and offered me and that’s right then I knew what type of man coach Klieman was,” said Vaughn.
Deuce scored his first career touchdown in the opener against Arkansas State.
“It was everything that I could have imagined and it’s hard to put it in words,” says Deuce.
And there’s plenty of words to describe Deuce who’s already earned multiple nicknames.
“I really like Jitterbug,” says Vaughn. “Sandblaster. I really like that one. That one was new. When Gus Johnson gives you a nickname you take it.”
Deuce’s real name is Chris, the same as his father, who is a scout with the Dallas Cowboys.
“I have a whole bunch of family on my mom’s side that was going to call me Junior and she was not having that, so she was automatically, like, Deuce, for two, and ever since it just kind of stuck around.”