Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Card stock | by Pat

Today's South Bend Tribune made official what had been speculated: wide receiver Chris Vaughn is transferring to Louisville. According to Vaughn, his decision was based more on personal matters than football matters.

"I got suspended from Notre Dame for the fall semester, which of course took me out of the upcoming football season," Vaughn told the Tribune via telephone. "I would have had to sit out, which was bad enough, but then there was no guarantee I'd even be admitted back in after that."

"At that point, I felt I had to kind of explore my options, and I decided it was in my best interests to leave the university. I want to emphasize it had nothing to do with the football program. I think the football program is headed in the right direction.

"I have a lot of respect for coach Weis. He did everything in his power to help me, as far as my situation. He was concerned about me as a person. But in the end, there's only so much he could do."
This transfer shows just how quickly things can change on college football depth charts. At the end of last season, Notre Dame's wide receiving corps for '05 looked pretty deep -- and tall, too. I recall thinking that ND would be able to line up in a 5-wide set with 6'2" Rhema McKnight, 6'5" Maurice Stovall, 6'5" Jeff Samardzija, 6'4" Chris Vaughn, and 6'6" David Nelson and just throw fade after fade over helpless 5'8" cornerbacks.

Now the WR depth chart is decidedly different, and with McKnight, Stovall and Shelton all gone after this year, things will be rather shallow for 2006:

Senior - Jeff Samardzija, Chase Anastasio
Junior - (none)
Sophomore - D.J. Hord, David Grimes
Freshman - Barry Gallup, Rob Parris, whatever other WR recruit(s) commit to ND

Not the deepest group of receivers you'll ever see. Talent is there, but not much experience. Of course, there are other players currently on the team (Hoskins, Wooden, Vernaglia, Bragg, Bruton, for example) who might moonlight as receivers or make the switch entirely. The 2005 depth chart looks different than we thought it would in 2004, so it's safe to say that the 2006 depth chart could look much different than its current version.