Editor’s note: Added Deuce Vaughn’s first name in the lead on the online edition to be consistent with the print edition.
According to Deuce Vaughn’s Twitter, he declared for the 2023 NFL Draft on Jan. 2. Vaughn played a key role in the Wildcat offense throughout his K-State career, finishing second in career rushing yards just behind Darren Sproles.
Eight days after Vaughn’s announcement, Florida State transfer running back Treshaun Ward declared to K-State. The 5-foot-10, 189-pound running back just finished his sophomore season at Florida State with two years left to play.
Ward was a Top 25 transfer portal player and a highly-sought recruit out of high school. He received offers from Oregon, Louisville, Maryland and Kentucky. Despite the allure of big-name schools, he chose to stay close to home and take a walk-on spot at Florida State University. Ward rushed 6.6 yards per carry during his four-year stint with the Seminoles while dealing with injuries.
After entering the portal, Ward heard from schools such as Tennessee, Ole Miss, Texas, South Carolina and Kansas. Something about K-State separated them from the rest.
“During my visits, they [K-State] didn’t tell me something just to get me here,” Ward said. “They let me know I’m still gonna have to work hard to get better and maybe someday be another NFL running back from here.”
BREAKING: Deuce Vaughn announces plans to enter 2023 NFL Draft
The contrast in environment between Kansas and Florida may not suit everyone, but for Ward, it was ideal for his football career.
“I don’t believe there is a really big distraction here,” Ward said. “When you come here, it’s a great opportunity to just focus on ball.”
While in the portal, Ward said he was looking for a school that best fit his game. After seeing what the Wildcats accomplished last season with Vaughn, K-State became his front-runner.
“As far as running backs go, you know, I am a little guy as well,” Ward said. “After seeing what Deuce did last year, I wanted to get into an offense that is similar to my game.”
Building relationships with his teammates and coaches and getting familiar with the school has been a key focus for Ward since his arrival on campus.
“Just developing my relationship with the staff, it was like, these guys are family,” Ward said. “Family is so embedded into K-State. You see it everywhere.”
Ward is wearing a sling due to a wrist injury but is getting the rest and recovery he needs to be ready to play next season.