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Deuce Vaughn stamps NFL presence in preseason debut


ARLINGTON, Texas — Deuce Vaughn's preseason debut lived up to the hype and then some at AT&T Stadium on Saturday afternoon, as the 5-foot-5 playmaker played the majority of the second half at running back and excelled with his opportunity.

Along the way for accounting for 56 total yards, Vaughn scored his first touchdown that capped a drive where he saw eight touches and accounted for 39 yards.

The score ignited his new home stadium in "Deuce" chants, and led to a prodigy being born in Arlington.

"It's hard to put into words, man," Vaughn said. "I can't take all of the credit, all of those guys up front were blocking their butts off all game. To get in the end zone in the first preseason game, it's a testament to all of the work that's been put in since pre-draft."

Vaughn said earlier in training camp that proving people wrong about his size will always be part of his story, and that story etched another chapter Saturday.

"Just that I belong," he said about what he proved. "I feel like that's the biggest thing for me coming in, just proving the people that believe in me right. It doesn't stop now. We go back to work Monday and into the next preseason game."

Vaughn's first big moment came on a second down around midfield when he found a crease and made a pair of defenders miss with quick cuts and deceptive physicality.

"Great blocking," he said about what went right. "It opened up real nice, got me to the second level and that's where I excel. It's hard to really put into words, but anytime you got a safety one-on-one, I like myself."

That play awoke the crowd, and that intensity remained every time Vaughn touched the ball from thereafter.

Despite the noticeable shift in energy, Vaughn stands on that he somehow blocks it all out.

"I never notice the crowd whenever I'm playing," he said with a laugh. "I'm so locked in, but knowing that support is there is huge. The crowd was electric tonight."

Now with his preseason debut in the bag, Vaughn can move forward with a certain level of expectation for the speed of the NFL.

"A lot of confidence," he said about what he gained. "It's a question mark coming in when you're about to play your first NFL game. It's not college, you wonder if you can go to the speed and be successful. It gives me a lot of confidence, but also understanding that this is just a preseason game."

Despite the big debut in just one half of play, Vaughn will be back on the drawing board upon his return to Oxnard to build on not only his big plays, but also his mistakes.

"There were a couple of things I kind of wanted back," he said. "That's what practice is for, getting back into the grind of it in the work of the week and get ready for the next preseason game."

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