Syracuse LB Dan Vaughan: Tackling Today, Grappling Tomorrow

May 14, 2012; Fairfax, VA, USA; A general view of the octagon prior to the Korean Zombie vs Poirier weigh-in at Patriot Center. Mandatory Credit: Rafael Suanes-US PRESSWIRE

Back in the late 80's/early 90's, the New York Giants had an unbelievable trio of linebackers. Lawrence Taylor, Carl Banks and Pepper Johnson. It was about as dominating a set of linebackers as the NFL has ever seen. Of course, the Giants played a 4-3 defense so there was actually a fourth LB...Gary Reasons. Reasons wasn't spectacular or special but he was reliable and came up big when the Giants needed him to.

I kinda see Syracuse Orange senior linebacker Dan Vaughan as our Gary Reasons. Marquis Spruill is our leader, Dyshawn Davis is solid and Siriki Diabate is making his way. All the while, Vaughan just keeps doing his job and flying under the radar.

You could say that Vaughan plays with a fighter's mentality. And that would be more true that you know because as Vaughan told the Daily Orange, his post-SU plans may include a few trips to the Octagon.

"If football doesn’t work out past college, I would like to give a shot at MMA," Vaughan said.

"I’ve been to some facilities where they’re doing that training," Vaughan said. "And it’s wrestling, boxing, kickboxing and Muay Thai, and all that stuff. It’s really tough."

If you're wondering why our punting game has had troubles, you might actually want to look in Vaughan's direction. His current sparring partner? SU punter Riley Dixon:

"I always win," he said. "I choke him out and stuff. I choked him out the other day with a triangle choke."

Uh...can you not choke out one of our 160-pound punters on a routine basis, Dan? At least not until January.

Go read the whole piece, which includes Vaughan hip-tossing Malcolm Cater during a scrimmage.

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