Vaughn Telemaque, the 6-foot-2, 187-pound three-star safety from Poly High School in Long Beach, Calif., is gearing up for revenge. Last year Lutheran High School from Orange, Calif., beat Long Beach Poly in the semifinals of the Pac-5 Div.1 playoffs. On Friday, Dec 1., the Jackrabbits take on Luther again for a spot in the finals.
Telemaque, Scout.com's No. 16 safety nationwide, has 80 tackles, five interceptions, four fumbles caused and one fumble recovered for a touchdown. Long Beach Poly is currently 12-1.
He has already taken official visits to North Carolina (Oct. 6), Oregon (Nov. 3) and Michigan (Nov. 17) and may still take a visit to Rutgers, Boise State or Ole Miss. Although Telemaque now denies a favorite, he favors Michigan (previously in the lead), North Carolina, Oregon and USC. All of his favorites have offered (nine total).
"I'm still thinking about a lot of things right now," Telemaque said. "With some of the coaching changes happening I just need to take some time and see what happens. I'm not sure how long it's gonna be, but I want to figure out all the pros and cons of each school.
"Plus, I still keep getting more and more interest from other schools," he said. "Colorado just offered me not too long ago."
Of the three official visits Telemaque has taken so far he says that North Carolina was definitely his favorite. "North Carolina gets a 9 out of 10 or an A-," he said. "Michigan and Oregon were both B's. I'd say they get a 6.5 or 7.
"Everything about North Carolina was great. It was my favorite because my aunt lives there and she's always been telling me about how great it is out there. I really loved it. I enjoyed having family out there and I just felt comfortable. Plus, I like that they are serious about improving their football program. They have coach Butch Davis and are serious about rebuilding."
Telemaque visited the Wolverines when they played Ohio State and says he wasn't "too surprised" when he found out Michigan coach Lloyd Carr retired. "He's a great guy and he'll be around the program so I'm sure they'll find a great replacement. It's still up for grabs. The most important thing for me is that they need safeties and that I'd be able to play early there.
"The game was great too," he said. "It was really exciting and I love the rivalry. It was just a lot of fun. The atmosphere in the Big House was huge. Even though it was chilly it was still fun."
Although it isn't an official visit, Telemaque will be attending another rivalry game next weekend when he attends the USC/UCLA game. "That should be a great game," he said. "I'm really looking forward to seeing all the players I used to know in high school play in the game. It'll be my first USC/UCLA rivalry game so I really want to see what it's like. USC is playing for the Rose Bowl so it's a big game.
"I like how USC really turned it on even though they struggled early," he said. "They are always a contender and always get great exposure and that's definitely something you think about."
While the Oregon/Arizona State game that Telemaque attended wasn't a rivalry game, the stakes were quite high and Telemaque was impressed with the Ducks. "That was a really fun trip," he said. "I love the fans and it's just a great place for football. Plus, they have the best equipment and facilities in the country.
"They really need a replacement for Dennis Dixon," he said. "With the offense they run they need a mobile quarterback like him and I think they'll be recruiting hard to find a replacement for him. Their defense is pretty solid and I think they'll be a top team next year too. Losing Dennis for the season just showed how important he was to the team. I hope I can be that important to a program at the safety position too."
Another coaching change that Telemaque is dealing with is the firing of coach Ed Orgeron at Ole Miss. "I was surprised they fired coach O, but they really want to win and win fast," he said. "I just want to see what happens there and who comes in and how it's gonna affect the program and the staff there."
He reports a 2.7 core GPA, and an 810 SAT/18 ACT. He plans to retake the SAT, but hasn't set a date yet.