By Alex Welch
When an athlete has
three older siblings all playing college sports on scholarships,
the pressure to live up to their expectations can be troublesome
at times. That’s not the case for Miles Vaughn, the starting
running back for New Creation Christian Academy (NCCA).
Vaughn, a high school
junior, transferred to NCCA after averaging around 100 yards
rushing per game last season at Union Grove High School. Now
playing in a new offense, Vaughn has lofty expectations for
New Creation Christian
Academy running back Miles Vaughn cuts back after receiving
a handoff in practice. Vaughn rushed for 275 yards on 32
carries in his first game of the season. The junior has
already received interest from several college programs.
Photo by Alex Welch
“I’ll hopefully run for
over 200 yards a game,” said Vaughn. “We’re looking pretty good.
I’m looking to help our team to make a state championship.”
He easily passed his
200-yard goal Friday night in his first game of the year,
rushing for 275 yards on 32 carries against Loganville Christian
Academy Vaughn’s longest run of the night came on a 75-yard
touchdown run to put the NCCA Crusaders up 14-0. It was
ultimately a losing effort, as Loganville Christian came out on
top 21-14, but Vaughn’s strong showing bodes well for the team’s
season going forward.
NCCA head coach Jonathan
Brown said he’s glad to have Vaughn on his roster this season.
He plans to give his new running back as many touches as
“I told him when he came
here, ‘If I can get you the ball 30 times a game, I will,’”
Brown said. “You get him in space, you can’t tackle him. We try
to get him the ball on the edge as much as we can. He’s got
great lateral movement. When he gets in the hole, he doesn’t
slow down, he speeds up.”
The Crusaders only have
24 players on the roster, so most of the team plays offense and
defense. Vaughn starts at cornerback to go along with his
backfield duties. Brown said he will have to make sure Vaughn
gets some time off the field.
While Vaughn is a
highlight reel on his high school team, his family is accustomed
to standout athletes. His sister, Brianna, runs track for the
University of Central Florida. She attended the University of
Georgia last year as a freshman and she reached the SEC finals
in the 100 and 200-meter events.
Vaughn’s older brothers
both play on athletic scholarship. Tyler is a freshman defensive
end on Wofford College’s football team, and Jordan is a junior
at DePaul University, where he runs the 100 and 200-meter events
The athleticism doesn’t
stop there, though. Vaughn’s father, Tony, played football in
Europe, and his grandfather, Ralph, played for the Washington
Redskins. Making a college team might be the minimum for a
member of the Vaughn family.
“We put a lot of time and
effort into what they were doing as younger kids,” said Tony.
“They didn’t spend a lot of time just outside playing. They were
in AAU track meets and events across the nation. It’s proven to
be a wonderful thing.”
Four gifted athletes in
one family can create somewhat of a sibling rivalry. Tony said
there is some pressure on his youngest son, but he might be the
best athlete of the bunch.
“I try my best not to put
so much pressure on Miles, but his brothers and sisters put
pressure on him too. But believe it or not, he’s the most
talented athlete overall,” said Tony. “I just want to let him
fulfill one of his goals and dreams, to play college football.
That’s just a goal I have as a father.”
Vaughn said he wants to
exceed the accomplishments of his family. While he hopes to
follow a similar path, the success of his siblings doesn’t make
him feel like he’s overlooked.
“It gives me no other
option but to follow their footsteps,” he said. “But I haven’t
been in their shadow, I’m my own person.”
Although he has two years
left in high school, Vaughn is already receiving attention from
multiple colleges. The University of West Georgia, Methodist
University and Reinhardt University are a few of the schools
that have expressed interest in Vaughn.
The 5-foot-5, 150-pound
junior is an elusive back with promising potential. While his
smaller stature may deter larger schools in the NCAA, Vaughn
said he hopes to play for a Division 1 football.
One pro athlete Vaughn
looks up to is Marcus Lattimore. Now a running back for the San
Francisco 49ers, Lattimore suffered two major knee injuries
while playing in college at the University of South Carolina.
Vaughn said he looks up to Lattimore because of his effort and
the works he’s put in to make his way back from injuries.
Work ethic is a key
aspect of Vaughn’s character. After starting with the NCCA
football team in the summer, his head coach has already noticed
the amount of effort Vaughn gives.
“He works hard. He’s one
of the few kids that have asked me for a key to the weight
room,” said Brown, noting that the school’s workout facilities
are separate from the main building.
The Crusaders finished 9-2 last year,
making a trip to the Independent Christian Schools of
Georgia-Alabama (ICSGA) semifinals. The team graduated 11
seniors in the spring, and Brown admitted there would be some
growing pains early on in 2013. However, with Vaughn running the
show in the backfield, NCCA already looks like it will be tough
to stop on the ground.