- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Detroit Lions reporter
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INDIANAPOLIS -- His favorite number is 137. He likes his steak medium rare. His throwing distance?
"More than enough."
So says the antithesis of Dustin Vaughan, the West Texas A&M quarterback who is one of the most anonymous prospects at this week's NFL combine. Actually, Vaughan explains, he didn't know he would be in Indianapolis until three weeks ago.
The version that hatched for less than a handful of hours one day in May, would almost definitely disagree. The real one might be the player most capable at the combine of laughing at himself.
That is the easiest way to explain his eager and excited participation in a parody video of himself in the middle of May wearing a hideous Christmas sweater. The video, posted on YouTube, is at once sarcastic and hilarious, ridiculous in the over-the-top nature and that it only took less than three hours to film.
"One of my really good friends is really talented in filmmaking and editing, and he's like, 'Man, I want to make something that is so not like you and so not like your character, like a parody about yourself,'" Vaughan said Thursday at the super-serious NFL combine. "So putting on ridiculous clothes, going out looking very unathletic and then having that arrogance, it's a way of making fun of yourself and I think it's important to always keep yourself humble.
"To the point of, 'Man, you put yourself on a stage like that, on a screen like that, and be able to make fun of yourself but also put smiles on people's faces,' I think that's great."
When the video was brought up Thursday, Vaughan smiled wide. Then he laughed and took joy in explaining how he and his friend made the video, how they chose locations at a local high school and a front yard completely at random.
How it became a brain release during finals week last year, a way to forget about the tenseness of finals for a little while and turn a quarterback who might end up in the NFL into a fake star with the ego the size of the state he played football in for a while.
All fake, of course.
For a second, he was concerned that someone -- anyone -- might take it even the slightest bit seriously. Then he watched it. He heard the typical reaction from friends of "hilarious" and he went with it.
"You know, yeah, I kind of was but I think it's just the fact of understanding who I am and I don't have that arrogance about me," Vaughan said. "I'm confident about what I can do on the football field but that arrogance, no. Coupled with the unathleticism, it was hard to turn that into something serious.
"Honestly, I don't think it's that big of a deal but I did, I did think about 'Should I take that off' or whatever. All I've heard is feedback saying, 'Man, just own it. Own it.'"
He did, although turning his 6-foot-6, 220-pound frame into someone with no athleticism wasn't as hard as one might think. He is, as he said, "tall and lanky, not too hard."
And the secondary star of the video, the red sweater with the white Christmas trees on it -- Vaughan insisted he did not own the piece of holiday party attire.
It is his roommate's. And he has no interest at all in finding out where it came from. Then again, why wouldn't his parody ego be interested in wearing it. Every person who describes his own physique as "luscious" surely would.
INDIANAPOLIS -- His favorite number is 137. He likes his steak medium rare. His throwing distance?"More than enough."So says the antithesis of Dustin Vaughan, the West Texas A&M quarterback who is one of the most anonymous prospects at this week's NFL combine.