Vaughn Named Candidate for Doak Walker Award


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Courtesy of K-State Athletics

MANHATTAN, Kan. – For a second-straight season, Kansas State junior running back Deuce Vaughn is in the running for the Doak Walker Award, presented annually to the nation’s top college running back, as the PwC SMU Athletic Forum announced its preseason watch list on Wednesday.

Vaughn was a semifinalist for the award a year ago, just the third Wildcat to advance from preseason candidacy as Darren Sproles was a finalist in 2003 and Daniel Thomas was a semifinalist in 2010. A product of Round Rock, Texas, Vaughn is one of 73 running backs in the nation to be named to this year’s watch list. It is his second watch list inclusion this week after being named a candidate for the Maxwell Award on Monday.

One of the top all-around running backs in the nation over his career, Vaughn has 2,046 rushing yards and 902 receiving yards in his career. With 98 more receiving yards, he will become the 10th player in Big 12 history to post 2,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in a career but just the second to accomplish the feat in less than three seasons (Taurean Henderson, Texas Tech).

Vaughn enters the 2022 season ranking first among all active non-kickers in career points per game (8.1), second among active players in career all-purpose yards per game (134.48), fifth in rushing yards per carry (5.7) and total touchdowns scored (31), eighth in rushing yards per game (89.0) and tied for eighth rushing touchdowns (25).

Last season, Vaughn became the 11th Consensus All-American in school history after rushing for 1,404 yards and 18 touchdowns while hauling in 49 receptions for 468 yards and another four scores. One of three players in the nation with 1,000 rushing yards and 400 receiving yards, Vaughn finished the 2021 season ranked fourth nationally with 22 total touchdowns, eighth in rushing touchdowns (18) and ninth in total rushing yards (1,404).

Kansas State opens the 2022 season by hosting South Dakota inside Bill Snyder Family Stadium on September 3. The Wildcats remain at home the next two weeks, taking on former conference opponent Missouri on September 10 and Tulane on September 17.

Tickets for the seven-game home slate can be purchased online at or by phone at 1-800-221-CATS.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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