Dawson County High School senior Harley Vaughan last Thursday signed a four-year football scholarship to attend the University of West Georgia.
It was the 20th time DCHS Head Football Coach, Jeff Lee, had witnessed a collegiate football scholarship signing since coming to Dawsons squad in 2003.
Lee said Vaughans determination to become a better athlete, and his performance level in academics, is what drove recruiters from several colleges to seek him including University of West Georgia (UWG) in Carrolton, and Union University and Cumberland University, both in Tenn.
Vaughn played offensive left tackle during part of his high school career.
We noticed something about him when he first came to the program, said Lee. He was interested in learning how to become better.
Lee added that after Vaughan set his mind to playing collegiate football, the planning process did not begin entirely with his athleticism - academic planning was on top of the list.
Being a good athlete helps, Lee explained, but if they dont have the grades, recruiters arent going to look at them. Grades were not an issue for Harley. And as we started sending out film, the feedback kept coming back about his athleticism. He has his grades where they need to be and that showed in the classroom. And, he worked extremely hard in the weight room and that showed on the field. This is what makes us proud as coaches.
Vaughan said he chose UWG after visiting with the football team and its coaches during a weekend trip to the campus. I felt that it was the place for me, he said. I really like the campus, and how I felt when I was up there.
UWG Head Football Coach Darryl Dickey said Vaughan would have an excellent opportunity for an outstanding career and a very good college experience at UWG. We think very highly of Harley as a person, his family and his academic and athletic ability, said Dickey. Grades are one of the very important attributes when we look, and we want someone who we think will excel in academics. It is part of what we sell. They are students first and then athletes.
Vaughans parents, Melanie and Johnny Vaughan, are proud of their sons decision. Our prayer was for Harley to find a school in Georgia, said Mr. Vaughn. Cause his momma couldnt handle him going off too far, he chuckled.
Im just so proud of him, said Mrs. Vaughn. He has worked so hard, and when he got to hang out with the guys to see if he would fit in with them, they really made him feel at home there. I really like that - a lot.
Vaughan will begin UWG on a four-year scholarship. I hope to go into pre-engineering or business management, he stated.
He also added the reality of his hard work is starting to sink in. I never thought I would be doing this, he said. When I was a kid I wanted to, but I didnt really think I would. So, its pretty cool to be signing.