Illinois Football: Ke’Shawn Vaughn Set to Transfer From Illinois


News broke Wednesday evening that Illinois football running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn is transferring.

Obviously, this is huge news for the Illinois football family. We all wish Vaughn the best of luck, and we hope to see him doing big things moving forward.

Vaughn was the second highest rated recruit in the class of 2015 for the Illini.  He was ranked as the No. 259 player in the nation that year.

The class of 2015 was actually pretty decent.  They ranked No. 34 in the nation, but it was the final group of players that Tim Beckman would bring into the program.

Right before the start of the 2015 season, Beckman was let go and offensive coordinator Bill Cubit took the reins.

Vaughn did well under the Cubit regime.  He was thrown into the starting role at times due to Josh Ferguson injuries.

Illinois Fighting Illini
Illinois Fighting Illini /

Illinois Fighting Illini

In 2015, Vaughn rushed for 723 yards and 6 touchdowns on 157 carries.  This was actually a great season for a true freshman running back.

But, after the season concluded, the University of Illinois fired athletic director Mike Thomas.  In stepped new athletic director and former Illini football player, Josh Whitman.

Whitman’s goal was to turn around this football program and his first move was to bring in his own head coach.

Cubit was let go on March 5 and then on March 7, Lovie Smith was hired to lead this program.

With a new coaching change come some casualties within the program.  Vaughn just happened to be one of them.

Vaughn came into the 2016 season as the starting running back, but by the end of the season, he was third string. He was also just a sophomore with plenty of room to grow.

At the end of the 2016 season, Vaughn finished with 301 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground.  The writing was on the wall that he wasn’t going to be the featured running back anymore.

It is clearly understandable why he would leave, but it always hurts to see someone depart our university.

Illinois still has a nice stable of running backs, though.

Kendrick Foster, Reggie Corbin, Dre Brown, Tre Nation, Ra’Von Bonner (class of 2017), and Mike Epstein (class of 2017) will be the primary backs for the 2017 season.

Next: Spring Practice Running Back Depth Chart Breakdown

Ultimately, the running back position will be fine, and we wish Vaughn the best of luck wherever he ends up playing.