Trio of Commodores Head to Super Bowl

Vaughn, Smith and Quarles part of two organizations in football's biggest game

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Super Bowl LV matchup is officially set – and Vanderbilt will have a few of its own as part of football’s biggest game.

Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Shelton Quarles and Emmanuel Smith are all part of the organizations playing for the Lombardi Trophy at 5:30 p.m. CT Feb. 7 in Tampa, Florida. Vaughn and Quarles are both Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Emmanual Smith plays for the Kansas City Chiefs.

The 76th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft, Vaughn played 10 games this season during his rookie campaign with Tampa Bay. The 5-foot-10, 214-pound running back had 109 rushing yards on 26 carries and five receptions for 34 yards.

Vaughn scored his first NFL touchdown Oct. 4 against the Los Angeles Chargers on a 9-yard pass from quarterback Tom Brady.

In the Buccaneers’ postseason run, Vaughn has played in one game – an NFL divisional round win at Washington – in which he had five carries for 21 yards.




Smith is in his second season with Kansas City and appeared in one game this season, a 33-29 win at New Orleans in which the 6-foot-2, 240-pound linebacker played on 16 special teams snaps.

In 2018, Smith signed his first NFL contract with the Atlanta Falcons after playing in 22 games for the Commodores between 2014-17. He made 75 career tackles – 4.0 for a loss and 1.5 sacks.

Smith had also been signed by Tampa Bay and Atlanta again before landing with Kansas City. Smith is currently on the Chiefs’ practice squad/injured list.

In 1994, Quarles entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent from Vanderbilt by signing with the Miami Dolphins. He spent some time in the Canadian Football League before reemerging with Tampa Bay in 1997.

Quarles then spent 10 seasons with the Buccaneers as a linebacker and played in 148 games. In 2002, Quarles was selected to the Pro Bowl and in 2003 helped the Buccaneers win Super Bowl XXXVII.

Now the director of football operations for Tampa Bay, Quarles was a second-team All-SEC selection for the Commodores.