IRVING – West Texas A&M football senior Dustin Vaughan continued to add to his postseason accolades as he was named to the eighth annual National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society, the National Football Foundation announced Tuesday.
A total of 838 players from 267 schools qualified for membership in the society’s eighth year, setting a new record for the number of member in the history of the program, which began in 2007. Click here for complete release from the National Football Foundation.
"We continue to raise the bar each year for the number of student-athletes who qualify for membership in the Hampshire Honor Society," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "The Hampshire Honor Society plays an important role in highlighting that college football players clearly play a leadership role in the classroom as well as on the playing field. We congratulate each of these young men for their commitment to excellence."
The NFF Hampshire Honor Society capitalizes on the NFF's current National Scholar-Athlete program greatly expanding the number of scholar-athletes the NFF can recognize each year. The program further strengthens the organization's leadership role in encouraging academic performance by the student-athletes who play football at the more than 700 college and universities with football programs nationwide. The initiative has honored 4,927 student-athletes since its inception, and the program has experienced growth every year in either members or school participation since its launch in 2007. The 2014 class of 838 players represents a new high water mark for members, eclipsing the old record mark by 117 student-athletes.
Vaughan, a native of Corpus Christi, Texas, was named one of 15 NFF National Scholar-Athletes last November and was honored with an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship. It was the second consecutive year a member of the Buffalo football program earned the prestigious honor as Aaron Mullane was a NFF National Scholar-Athlete in 2012.
The Hampshire Honor Society represents a powerful component in the organization's rich history as an innovator in promoting the scholar-athlete ideal. Launched in 1959 with a donation from Hall of Fame coach Earl "Red" Blaik, the NFF's National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, became the first initiative in history to grant postgraduate scholarships based on a player's combined academic success, football performance and community leadership. And, since its inception, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program has awarded $10.4 million to 787 top scholars and community leaders.
A total of five athletes from the Lone Star Conference, including Vaughan, earned membership. Along with WT, Eastern New Mexico, Tarleton State, Texas A&M-Kingsville and Texas A&M-Commerce each were represented.
Vaughan had an outstanding career on and off the field for the Buffs. He was the only quarterback at any level this season to pass for over 5,000 yards with 5,401, which are most all-time in Division II. He led the nation in passing and was second in passing yards per game at 385.7. His 53 touchdown passes also led the nation and was the most in conference history in a season, was well as being third-most all-time in Division II. For his career, he owns the school and conference record for career passing yard (13,525), total yards (13,608) and touchdowns (123).
He finished runner-up in the prestigious Harlon Hill Award and earned American Football Coaches Association All-America honors this season as he helped guide the Buffs to an 11-3 record and a berth in the NCAA quarterfinals. Vaughan finished the season going 447 of 675 for an impressive 66.2 completion average in 2013. He was a two-time Lone Star Conference Offensive Player of the Year selection. Vaughan was fourth in the Harlon Hill balloting in 2012.
Not only did he excel on the field, but also in the classroom as he graduated last December and was a two-time LSC football Academic Player of the Year and was named CoSIDA Division II Football Academic Player of the Year in 2013. He also earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors this past season. Vaughan also was named Conference Commissioner's Association Regional Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award in 2013. He earned LSC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2013 and has been on the Dean's List and President's List his entire time at WT. He was a member of Alpha Chi Omega and Gamma Beta Phi.
Vaughan graduated with a 3.86 grade-point average in biology/pre-med. He plans on attending medical school and eventually be a M.D. with a focus on sports medicine following his football career.