PUEBLO, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com – June 10, 2010) – Former CSU-Pueblo All-American, Chase Vaughn (Aurora, Colo.), will suit it up professionally this season after signing a rookie contract to play for the Las Vegas Locos in the United Football League.
Vaughn, an outside linebacker last season for the ThunderWolves, signed a one-year deal and will begin minicamp with the team on June 16. The Locos' training camp begins in August.
Vaughn will play for a Las Vegas team that won the first United Football League championship in 2009, the season's first year of competition. The UFL is one of four major professional football leagues in existence in North America, alongside the Arena League, the Canadian Football League, and the National Football League. The Locos are coached by former New York Giants head coach, Jim Fassel.
He won a spot on the team after a stellar workout in an open tryout in Arizona in April, which consisted of over 250 potential signees. Vaughn ran a 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds, an outstanding time for a 6-foot-2, 242-pound linebacker. He was invited back for a private workout and again impressed the coaching staff.
Vaughn will be one of the youngest players on a Las Vegas team that consists of mainly NFL castoffs. He will be competing among former NFL linebackers, Vaughn said, for a spot on the 52-man roster. Currently, a 2010 Locos' roster has not yet been released.
"They said they liked my athleticism," Vaughn said, "and I am going to be one of the youngest, if not the youngest player on the roster. They said I'll fit right in because of my speed."
Vaughn played on the ThunderWolves for two seasons, earning honorable mention All-America honors during his junior season in 2008. He claimed two first-team All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference honors, two National Football Foundation first-team All-Colorado awards, and earned a bid to the Division II senior All-Star game, The Valero Cactus Bowl, this past season. He is the CSU-Pueblo all-time sack leader, and owns the school and RMAC record for most sacks in a game with 4.5 during the ThunderWolves' first game of the 2008 season vs. Oklahoma Panhandle State.
Vaughn becomes the second ThunderWolf to get a shot with a professional football team since the program was restarted in 2008. Teammate and fellow Smoky Hill High School alum, Augustine Agyei (Aurora, Colo.) earned a tryout with the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals in May, but did not make the team. Vaughn can become the first ThunderWolf to see playing time with a professional team since 1987.
The Locos play their home games right off "The Strip" at University of Nevada-Las Vegas' Sam Boyd Stadium. The season of the five-team UFL will kick off Sept. 17, when each of the league's teams begins its eight-game schedule. The UFL plays its games on Thursday, Friday or Saturday each week. This past week, the UFL made headlines when the Sacramento, Calif. franchise signed former NFL Pro Bowler, Daunte Culpepper.
For more information on the UFL and the Las Vegas Locomotives, visit http://www.ufl-football.com.