ESPN's John Moyer spoke with sophomore running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn earlier this week about the opportunity to play for Lovie Smith. Vaughn said that a friend texted him "(Smith) loves to run the ball. You could be like the next Matt Forte."
Illinois' Ke'Shawn Vaughn embraces bigger workload after 'fairy-tale' offseason https://t.co/hqNGA8MpRN— ESPN Big Ten (@ESPN_BigTen) July 29, 2016
Vaughn said that Smith being hired was "like a fairy tale" and that it "doesn't seem real" to him. Ke'Shawn can certainly expect an increased workload this season and, while he's still an underclassmen, will be looked at as one of the offensive leaders on this team. He tallied 723 rush yards on 157 carries in 2015 including a long 78-yard run against Purdue to push his touchdown total to six. Expect those numbers to spike this year under Lovie.
Do you agree with Moyer's assessment of Vaughn? Can he really be the next Matt Forte? Let us know what you think below in the comments!
Illinois Fighting Illini Links
- Illinois' #WeWillWin slogan may take time for football (The News Gazette)
Even though Josh Whitman's snappy catchphrase has already swept Illini nation, head coach Lovie Smith says the team "still has a ways to go" and that "even though they're not there yet, in time they'd like to be a part of the conversation."
- Lovie Smith boosting Illini-related businesses (The Chicago Tribune)
The Lovie Smith effect is alive and well. Since the new head coach was announced back in March, local Gameday Spirit stores have had trouble keeping their Lovie t-shirts in stock.
The Aggies suspended two assistant football coaches and apologized for offensive remarks the coaches made at a women's clinic this past Wednesday.