The article below originally appeared in the Oakland Tribune and is being reprinted with permission.
If junior college life is all about second chances, Rahsaan Vaughn has made the most of his at College of San Mateo.
A marquee athlete who struggled academically at Washington High, Vaughn became the complete package in the Bulldogs’ football program under coach Bret Pollack.
The wide receiver recently orally committed to Oregon, which will face Auburn in the BCS national championship game on Monday in Glendale, Ariz.
Vaughn, who is 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, runs the 40-yard dash in 4.37 seconds. Last week he was selected to the 2010 All-America Community College Football team after averaging 18.9 yards a catch, ranking fourth in the state. His 11 touchdown catches put him tied for fourth.
His athletic prowess has never been in question. In fact, Washington High coach Ken Wittmer says Vaughn could play virtually every position well, including punter and place-kicker.
“He was a huge impact player from his sophomore year when he stepped on the field,” Wittmer said. “In general he’s got really good character. He’s a good kid; one of these kids from a busted up home, a lot of situations, a lot of turmoil in his life. … He did the things we asked him but didn’t always maintain the grades he needed.”
At College of San Mateo, though, Vaughn became a model student-athlete, and Wittmer plans to ask him to come back to Washington and speak to his returning players about the importance of academics.
Vaughn capped his CSM career with 10 receptions for 79 yards in the Bulldogs’ 27-20 win over Sequoias in the Bulldog Bowl on Nov. 20.He credits College of San Mateo’s coaches with instilling leadership qualities in him. He mentioned receivers coach Gregg Patner, defensive coordinator Tim Tulloch and Pollack, among other CSM coaches, as having a positive influence.
“Football was something I always wanted to do, but I never took it serious,” Vaughn said. “College of San Mateo was a maturing stage for me. My freshman year I came in with a lot of kinks in me. … I took the initiative to do well, and my coaches helped me along.”
FOOTBALL HONORS: Laney running back CJ Anderson and punter Ernie Collins were also selected as first-team Junior College All-Americans. Laney defensive lineman Paul Piukala made First Team Region I All-California.
Six Diablo Valley players made the Region II All-California squad: wide receivers Chase Danska and Greg Wilson, quarterback Joey Wilson, offensive lineman Nick Graritano, defensive lineman Morgan Breslin and defensive back Byron Richardson. Also selected were Chabot running back Brian Jones and defensive lineman Asi Moa. Contra Costa defensive lineman Niko Aumua was a Region III First Team All-California pick.
MOVING UP: DVC sophomore basketball guard Jordan Estrada has orally committed to Sacramento State. Estrada is averaging 13 points and four assists a game and was the MVP of the Vikings’ Chevron Invitational (Nov. 26-28). Estrada had seven 3-pointers and 24 points in the Vikings’ 80-73 loss to Santa Monica in the Crowne Plaza Classic last week. … The Las Positas men’s basketball team beat Chabot 61-58 last week in the Chabot Classic championship game. The Hawks’ Ryan Hebebrand (Granada) was named tournament MVP. … Seven Laney football players have signed with four-year schools: OL Kevin Galindo (Concord), SMU; C Virgil Hart (Hayward), San Diego; OL Jeremy Summers (Skyline), Duquesne; OL John Gerber (Concord), Sacramento State; DL Quinn Perry (Hayward), Southeast Missouri; K Ernie Collins (Cal High), San Diego; and LB Dino Waldren (De La Salle), St. Francis (Pa.). … Chabot DE Sean Brown (Oakland Tech) has signed with New Mexico State.