Josh's Web: Former Spider RB Has Web of Talents to Impress on Draft Day

Peter FleischerSenior Writer IMarch 20, 2009

It’s not often that 1,800 rushing yards gets ignored, but Richmond running back Josh Vaughan went to a small school, so it’s not like he’d have any success in the NFL right?

Not so fast.

Former teammate Tim Hightower, who Vaughan shared the backfield with at Richmond for three seasons, actually proved that rumor dead wrong just last year. Hightower rushed for almost 400 yards last season for the Arizona Cardinals and got into the end zone an impressive 10 times as well for the Cards.

“Tim is definitely an encouragement to me. Coming from a small school and everything, it’s definitely motivation,” Vaughan proclaimed.

Hightower has proven that he belongs in the league. So does Josh Vaughan? “Just to know that I played with him and shared the field at times, alternated with him, it definitely lets me know that I’m capable of playing on that level.”

So why exactly is Vaughan not getting the love from NFL scouts? Although he wasn’t invited to the NFL combine, Vaughan isn’t fazed.

“I’m used to being the underdog,” he admitted. “It does change the perspective I have…but once I get that opportunity, I know I’ll take advantage of it.”

Taking advantage is actually a big part of what Vaughan says he has learned to do as he’s grown older. “I’ve learned to study my opponents, my weaknesses, any types of tendencies. Just learning to exploit stuff,” he explained. “As a player I think you have to take what the defense gives you, and you’ll find your rhythm eventually.”

As he continues to grow mentally, Vaughan remains physically impressive. At 6-foot and over 230 pounds, Vaughan has never struggled physically. It’s actually part of what makes him an enticing draft prospect.

“I’m versatile,” he says in a summary. “I’m able to pass block, catching the ball out of the backfield, running with speed, running with power. That’s the best characteristic I can offer [a potential team].”

With Richmond finishing their pro days on Mar. 19, the impression that Vaughan will leave on scouts is undoubtedly going to be an impressive one. Just like the 1,800 yards he gained last season that will be leaving a lasting impression upon Spider fans, Vaughan’s audition for the NFL will certainly be one pro scouts won’t soon forget.