The purpose of today’s blog is to wish a very Happy Birthday to Michigan Man Jon Vaughn. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Jonathan Stewart “Jon” Vaughn was born on this day in Florissant, Missouri. He grew up to become an outstanding athlete (football and track and field) at McCluer North High School. Bo Schembechler, and his staff, took great interest in his talents and got him to commit to Michigan in 1988.
Note- Today’s post was one of the most popular posts in 2017
Part I. Wolverine of the Day – Michigan Man Jon Vaughn
Jon Vaughn came to Michigan in the Fall of 1988. The football roster listed him as a Freshman Defensive Back. He came in at 5’ 11” inches tall and weighed 183 pounds soaking wet. He was pretty light by Big Ten standards. Bo had plans for Vaughn, just not in 1988, so he red-shirted the talented freshman. I am sure that Bo introduced Jon to Mike Gittleson, the strength coach, and said, “Get some muscle on this guy!” Michigan did fine without Jon Vaughn in 1988. The Wolverines finished the season with a record of 9-2-1 and won the Big Ten Championship.
Michigan still had plenty of talented running backs in 1989. Guys like Jarrod Bunch, Leroy Hoard, Tony Boles and Ricky Powers were all ready to carry the ball for Bo. Jon Vaughn was still playing as a lightweight since he is listed at only 174 pounds on the 1989 Michigan Football Roster. Obviously, there was more work to do with Mr. Gittleson. Jon Vaughn played in at least four games in 1989. He totaled 10 carries and gained 57 yards. He earned his first letter on Bo’s last team that finished with a record of 10 wins, 2 losses and another Big Ten title. It looked like the tailback position would be a two-man competition between Vaughn and Ricky Powers in 1990. If Jon could put on some weight, he could be the starter in 1990.
Michigan Man Jon Vaughn worked hard in the off-season and came back in 1990 at a Big Ten “ready” 200 pounds. Gary Moeller, Michigan’s new head coach, must have liked what he saw since he named Jon Vaughn as the starting tailback. Vaughn did not disappoint.
Vaughn started the season with a spectacular game against Notre Dame. He rushed for 201 yards on 22 carries and averaged 9.1 yards per carry. He also caught 6 passes for 41 yards which gave him 242- yards for the game. Unfortunately, it was not enough and the Wolverines lost to the Irish by a score of 24-28. The next week went even better because Michigan beat UCLA by a score of 38-15. Jon Vaughn was “the man” in this game as he rushed for 288 yards on 32 carries. He averaged 9.0 yards per carry and scored 3 touchdowns. So, Vaughn gained almost five hundred yards (489) in his first two games as a starter and was averaging almost 245 yards per game. Obviously, he was off to a fast start in 1990.
Thanks to the Michigan Football Historian for some great highlights of Jon Vaughn’s career best game.
Michigan Man Jon Vaughn did not average 250 yards per game for the rest of the 1990 season, but he did have a great campaign. He finished with three more 100-yard rushing games and had four more in the nineties. Jon ended his first season as a starter with 216 carries and totaled 1,364 net yards. He also caught 20 passes for another 123 yards. Jon Vaughn had a very productive season in 1990 – and then he was gone!
Despite his great success in 1990, Michigan Man Jon Vaughn decided to leave Ann Arbor with two years of eligibility on the table. It was a shocker to many Wolverine fans, but he felt that professional football was where he wanted to showcase his talents. Jon’s statistics for his two-short years at Michigan are still impressive. He rushed the ball 226 times for 1,421 yards. He scored 9 rushing touchdowns and caught 20 passes for 123 yards. It is scary to think what he could have done in 1991, but we will never know about that, will we?
Michigan Man Jon Vaughn is connected to some important Michigan Football “firsts.” Check these out:
- He was the first man to record back-to-back games with at least 200 rushing yards in 1990.
- Jon Vaughn is the first, and only, man to average over 6.0 yards per carry for a career. His 6.29 average is still the best in Michigan football history.
Yes, Michigan Man Jon Vaughn’s career was “three and out.” His Michigan career started slow, but it finished fast, really fast. Interestingly he was a part of three Big Ten Championship teams and earned All-Conference honors in 1990. He was also named the Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the year in 1990.
I hope that Michigan Man Jon Vaughn is having a great time celebrating his birthday with family and friends today! Please take a moment to appreciate the contributions that Jon Vaughn made to Michigan Football history. Thanks for the memories Jon and Go Blue!
Part II. Trivia Question of the Day – March 11, 2018
Who was the first Wolverine defensive back to record 22 Pass Break Ups (PBUs) in a single season?
Part II. Trivia Answer of the Day – March 11, 2018 – Jourdan Lewis
Jourdan Lewis recorded 22 Pass Break Ups (PBUs) in 2015 which broke the old record set by Marlin Jackson. In 2002, Jackson posted 18 PBUs and that record stood for fourteen years. However, it was tied in 2006 by Leon Hall.
Jourdan’s record-breaking year was rewarded with his selection to a number of first team All-American awards. Jourdan Lewis ended his career as two-time All-American when he was selected for first team honors again in 2016.
Part III. Trivia Question of the Day – March 12, 2018
Who was the first Wolverine receiver to record over 19 touchdowns in a single season?