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Kenny Vaccaro

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Vaccaro playing for the Longhorns in 2010.
No. 32 New Orleans Saints
Position: Safety
Personal information
Date of birth: (1991-02-15) February 15, 1991 (age 29)
Place of birth: Brownwood, Texas
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Career information
High school: Early (TX)
College: Texas
NFL draft: 2013 / Round: 1 / Pick: 15
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career Template:If empty statistics as of Week 17, 2014
Tackles: 153
Quarterback sacks: 2.0
Pass deflections: 13
Interceptions: 3
Forced fumbles: 1
Stats at NFL.com

Kenneth Dwayne Vaccaro (born February 15, 1991) is an American football safety for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Saints in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played college football at Texas.

Early years

The eldest of five children, Vaccaro was born and raised in Brownwood, Texas to a single mother.[2] He attended Brownwood High School before transferring to Early High School in nearby Early, Texas for his senior year and played football at both schools, earning all-district and all-state honors.[3] While in high school he was moved around the field and played in six different positions. He also competed in athletics in both running and field events and had career-bests of 13.26 meters in triple jump and 6.48 meters in long jump.

College career

Vaccaro enrolled in the University of Texas at Austin, where he played for coach Mack Brown's Texas Longhorns football team from 2009 to 2012.

Freshman year

His freshman year he appeared in all 13 games, both as a safety and on special teams. He made 1 tackle, blocked 1 punt and also forced a fumble in a game vs. Texas A&M. Texas ended the season with a 21-37 loss to Alabama. Vaccaro sacked quarterback Sam Bradford in the 2010 Red River Rivalry.

Sophomore year

In his sophomore year, he saw more playing time in all 12 games with 6 starts: two games started as a safety and the other 4 as a nickelback. His best game of his career was against Oklahoma State where he caught his first college career interception. He had 9 tackles (8 solo), 1 tackle for loss and 2 pass breakups before the game was over. When the season was over, Vaccaro had amassed 54 total tackles (42 solo), one interception, 4 tackles for loss, one forced fumbles and 8 passes broken up. The Longhorns had their first losing season (5–7) in 13 years.

Junior year

Vaccaro started all 13 games as a safety his junior year and finished the season as a solid starter for the Texas Longhorns. He had 82 total tackles with 8 for a loss, 2.0 sacks, 8 pass breakups and 2 interceptions. In the Holiday Bowl Vaccaro and his defense held the California Golden Bears to 7 rushing yards and 195 yards of total offense. He had 5 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss and a sack. They went on to win the game with the final score standing at 21-10.

Senior year

As a senior in 2012, Vaccaro was named a first-team All-American by Pro Football Weekly.[4] He and linebacker Alex Okafor were voted defensive captains for the season.

Professional career

2013 NFL Combine

<td colspan="20" align="center">All values from NFL Combine.[5]</td>
Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 0 in 214 lb 4.63 s 1.60 s 2.59 s 4.06 s 6.78 s 38 in 10 ft 1 in 15 reps

2013 NFL Draft

Vaccaro was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the first round, with the 15th overall pick, of the 2013 NFL Draft. He was the first safety picked in the draft.

New Orleans Saints

2013 season

In the first game of the 2013 season, against the Saints' division rival, Atlanta Falcons, Vaccaro made a crucial play late in the game: he prevented an Atlanta touchdown by deflecting a fourth down pass away from Tony Gonzalez, and into the hands of safety Roman Harper, securing the Saints' 23-17 win.[6] In the 2013 season, Vaccaro played in 14 games making 79 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 interception, and 6 passes defended. Vaccaro's season was ended prematurely when he broke his ankle making a tackle against Carolina in week 15. He underwent surgery and was ruled out for the rest of the season.[7][8] Fans voted him as the most impressive defensive rookie on the Saints' official website.[9]

2014 season

Vaccaro's play in 2014 was perceived as erratic; he made many big plays for the Saints but also was implicated in many defensive errors, as the entire Saints defense played much less successfully than it had done in 2013. One prominent website, Pro Football Focus, had Vaccaro rated 84th out of 86 safeties in the league. On December 9, early in Week 15 of the season, it was reported that head coach Sean Payton had decided that Vaccaro would be benched.[10] However, in his December 11 press conference, Payton denied this, although leaving the door open for a change in Vaccaro's role.[11]

Personal life

Vaccaro's younger brother Kevin plays for the Texas Longhorns football team.[12] Their uncle is retired cornerback and Super Bowl XXVI winner A. J. Johnson.[13]

References

External links

Template:2013 NFL Draft