Kansas State running back Deuce Vaughn doesn’t fumble often, and at Big 12 Media Days he told everyone why.
Vaughn, a returning All-American who is considered a dark horse Heisman candidate, had just one fumble last season against Southern Illinois, something he says still sticks in his craw.
If you look at his stats on ESPN.com, it lists Vaughn has having never lost a fumble in two seasons. There’s a good reason why, and Vaughn let everyone in on his technique last week.
“It’s grip work after workouts and things like that,” Vaughn said. “I utilize this technique that NFL players use called the cross grip. Instead of traditionally, like in the past, players would wrap the ball kind of like this (uses his right hand to show the old technique) keeping it open and instead of going through and moving the ball like that, I keep it up here and I’ve crossed my other arm over it just to keep the ball where it is without moving it and it really jars it up in there.”
Vaughn is the one that referenced the fumble in the SIU game, which was the Wildcats’ second contest of the year. And he admits he’s still upset about it.
“It was an inside zone play,” Vaughn said. “I’m going to the left. And there was kind of like an opening. I was kind of waiting patiently and a player from the backside came back around behind me. And as soon as I was going to cut and run, I kind of let the ball go a little bit and he hit it out of there. I was so mad, I still don’t want to talk about it.”
Vaughn is perhaps the most versatile player in the league. He led Kansas State with 1,404 yards rushing with 18 touchdowns and caught another 49 passes with 468 yards and four touchdowns. His reception total led the team.
He, along with Kansas State pass rusher Felix Anudike-Uzomah, give the Wildcats a pair of potential All-America candidates for 2022.
The biggest question is at quarterback, where the experience and production of Skylar Thompson is gone. He started 40 games, more than any K-State quarterback in history, and threw for more than 8,000 yards. Now, Nebraska transfer Adrian Martinez is expected to take the reins and he amassed more than 10,000 yards rushing and passing with the Cornhuskers.
The Wildcats open the season on Sept. 3 at home against South Dakota, followed by home games with Missouri on Sept. 10 and Tulane on Sept. 17. Kansas State opens Big 12 play at Oklahoma on Sept. 24.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.