Some players live up to their expectations. Others may have high expectations, but fans and the media may believe they could have done more. Alabama wide receiver Michael Vaughn is remembered for one play, but he could have been more well-known for his career accomplishments.
A native of Clarksdale, Miss., Vaughn totaled 66 receptions for 1,167 yards and 17 touchdowns as a high school senior. He chose Alabama over Mississippi State and LSU.
Vaughn played at Alabama from 1995 to 1996 and 1998. As a sophomore in 1996, Vaughn appeared in 12 games with 39 receptions for a team-high 702 yards and six touchdowns. His best game of the regular season was 142 receiving yards against Florida. But his greatest Crimson Tide moment occurred in the SEC Championship Game, also against Florida.
With the ball at their own 6-yard line, quarterback Freddie Kitchens dropped back into his own end zone. He then threw along the sidelines to Vaughn, who had broken away from the Florida secondary. Vaughn caught the pass at his own 47-yard line and out ran the Florida defense for the touchdown.
The 94-yard touchdown reception is still a school record for the longest scoring pass play. Vaughn's efforts were not enough as the Gators outscored the Crimson Tide, 45-30.
During an August practice in 1997, Vaughn injured a disc in his back. After undergoing surgery, he missed the season and received a medical red shirt. His absence played a part in Alabama's disappointing 4-7 season.
Vaughn returned for his junior season in 1998. He played in 10 games, but was suspended for the Florida contest for disciplinary reasons, and it was a game Alabama lost, 16-10.
His best game of the season was against Southern Mississippi. Vaughn only tallied four catches, but he finished with 96 receiving yards and tied a school record with three touchdown receptions in a 30-20 win over the Golden Eagles.
Alabama earned an invitation to the Music City Bowl but lost, 38-7, to Virginia Tech. Vaughn tallied the only Crimson Tide touchdown in the loss.
After compiling 34 receptions for 403 yards and four touchdowns in 1998, Vaughn announced he would forgo his senior season and enter the NFL Draft. He finished his Alabama career with 73 receptions for 1,105 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Unfortunately, Vaughn was unable to attract any suitors and was not selected in the 1998 NFL draft. He never played professionally.