Joining Vaughn at a Staples news conference on National Signing Day were school administrators, coaches and six of his teammates who also plan to play college football.
"I'm really excited," said Vaughn, a 6-foot-3, 270-pound tackle. "Ever since the Dec. 2 loss to NFA (in the Class LL state semifinals), I've been real excited to start playing football again."
Wide receiver James Frusciante will also play at the FCS level at Princeton University, of the Ivy League. Frusciante led Staples with 932 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns last fall and, like Vaughn, earned all-state honors.
"It's a great honor," Frusciante said of attending Princeton. "Just combining the academics and athletics that the school can offer, it's a great school."
Staples head coach Marce Petroccio said he expects both Vaughn and Frusciante to make an early impact on the gridiron at their respective schools.
"The plan for both of those kids is they're going to play early," Petroccio said. "Their coaches have already been in contact with them, and they've already met with them."
Five players from Staples plan to play Division-III football next year and would face each other as collegians in the New England Small College Athletic Conference.
They are running back Nick Kelly (Amherst), linebacker Kevin Kearney (Bowdoin), defensive lineman Pieter Hoets (Trinity), offensive lineman Will Patrick (Tufts) and running back Joey Zelkowitz (Middlebury).
"I'm so proud of where they're going. I'm so proud of what they've done here," Petroccio said. "It's hard to let go. They're such a special, special group. ... I don't have any sons, but to me, they're all my sons. They're tremendous people."
Staples finished 10-1 last season and won its second straight FCIAC title.
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