UND wildcat quarterback Quincy Vaughn giving tight end a try this spring

Vaughn, who's 6-foot-4 and 245 points, hopes a new position can increase playing time.

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UND quarterback/tight end Quincy Vaughn rushes past Fighting Hawks linebacker Malachi McNeal (36) during spring football practice at the Fritz Pollard Jr. Athletic Center in Grand Forks on Friday, March 3, 2023.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS — When UND's Quincy Vaughn entered games in 2022, the 6-foot-4, 245-pound quarterback was often a signal the Fighting Hawks were going to bull-rush for short yardage.

That signal might be less obvious in 2023 if Vaughn is typically on the field anyway.

As UND conducts spring football practices this March, Vaughn has swapped a gray quarterback jersey for a regular white offense jersey and is taking on drills as a tight end.

"It's going good," Vaughn said. "It's definitely something I'm not used to, but embracing the change is a big part. Coaches are supportive of the change and helping me out along the way."

Vaughn became dominant in 2022 in short-yardage situations, despite defenses knowing exactly what to expect from the quarterback sneak.


The Hamilton, Ontario, product scored six rushing touchdowns and consistently produced on third-and-short or fourth-and-short.

For his career, Vaughn has shown his versatility in UND's imaginative offense. Through the past three years, Vaughn has run for eight touchdowns, thrown for four and even had a 15-yard touchdown catch.

His biggest challenge at tight end so far, he said, is grasping the blocking schemes.

"Coming from a quarterback background, I knew the plays and the offense but now getting in the trenches and learning the fronts and double teams, that's the most taxing part so far," Vaughn said.

Vaughn is also adjusting to the physicality of the position.

"It's way different," Vaughn said. "I took for granted the physicality in the trenches. I guess I have a bigger frame that can help me out, and I'm just figuring out how to use that to my advantage."

During UND's team drills on Wednesday, Vaughn caught a tight end screen over the middle and broke through into the secondary.

"It's definitely exciting," Vaughn said. "I've never done it in my career. Having a roommate who plays quarterback like Tom (Schuster), maybe he'll feed me a couple of balls here and there. I'm excited to learn new things and help the team out."


Vaughn said he and offensive coordinator Danny Freund hatched the plan following the 2022 season.

"I have a good relationship with Coach Freund, and I want to help the team any way I can," Vaughn said. "(Freund) presented the option, and I said, 'Sure, why not?'"

If Vaughn's trial at tight end is successful, that doesn't have to mean the end of Vaughn sneaks under center. A trend across college football recently is for tight ends to be utilized in the sneak game under center.

"I know the bread-and-butter," Vaughn said. "They know what's coming, we know what's going. We're always 100 percent confident in that."

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019 and 2022.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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