3. Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State
Particularly with quarterback Skylar Thompson missing most of the season due to injury, the Kansas State campaign was one that fans in Manhattan feel could have ended up much better for them. Perhaps one of the biggest reasons why was the performance by then-freshman running back Deuce Vaughn, who emerged as an all-out weapon for the Wildcats.
Blink and you might miss him, Vaughn is the antithesis of players like Harris, Bigsby and the big bruisers of the college backfield ranks. At 5-foot-5 and 168 pounds, the Kansas State rising sophomore is lightning in a bottle who can affect any game with either his carries or his pass-catching ability out of the backfield.
Over 10 games last season — his first of his college career — Vaughn rushed 123 times for 642 yards and seven touchdowns while also catching 25 passes for 434 yards and two scores. He was a big play waiting to happen and that was while defenses were able to key in on him with Thompson out of the lineup.
Now that Thompson returns, what Vaughn could do should scare the rest of the Big 12. Few players in the country offer the explosiveness of the Kansas State sophomore and he’ll have every chance to showcase that in the 2021 campaign for the Wildcats.