2022 Mountain West Football Top 50: #37, Utah State DE Byron Vaughns

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2022 Mountain West Football Top 50: #37, Utah State DE Byron Vaughns

The Aggies defensive end came on strong late last year and lands on our preseason list of the Mountain West’s best players.

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If you don’t know already, you will.

Utah State’s rise to the top of Mountain West last fall was truly a team effort on both sides of the ball and perhaps no player exemplifies the Aggies’ evolution throughout 2021 like defensive end Byron Vaughns, the next player on our countdown of the best in the conference.

He was one of many Utah State players who came to the program through the transfer portal before the season began, arriving in Logan from Texas. While he saw action throughout the season, it wasn’t until late in the campaign, following a big game against Hawaii, that Vaughns really took off. In the last seven games of the year, which included five starts, he picked up 22 total tackles, eight tackles for loss, four sacks, and three passes defended. That included an MVP performance in the Mountain West championship against San Diego State, the culmination of a full year’s worth of work on the field.

Now, more will be expected of Vaughns in the team’s title defense, with contributors like Nick Heninger and Marcus Moore having moved on. Given what he was able to demonstrate down the stretch, however, he could be in line for a monster year as a defensive leader.

More MW Top 50!

2022 Mountain West Football Top 50: #38, San Jose State QB Chevan Cordeiro

2022 Mountain West Football Top 50: #39, New Mexico CB Donte Martin

2022 Mountain West Football Top 50: #40, Hawaii DT Blessman Ta'ala

Story originally appeared on Mountain West Wire