For USC to maintain its reputation as Wide Receiver U, it will need to continue to land players like Tyler Vaughns. The four-star prospect announced his pledge at his high school on Wednesday to the program that has produced Robert Woods, Marqise Lee, Mike Williams, Dwayne Jarrett and several other standouts at his position since the turn of the century.
“I talked to the coaches and I went over it with my family and they thought, and I thought, it was the best decision for me at the moment,” Vaughns said, according to Rivals.com. “That's what I went with. It feels like home there. I'm talking to the coaches still so I'm feeling more comfortable there and I can see myself there and in the offense and everything.”
Vaughns’ choice was not surprising.
He plays at Bishop Amat in La Puente, Calif., visited USC’s campus multiple times and garnered attention for sporting a Trojans baseball cap backwards during seven-on-seven games. Even though Vaughns said in June he “used to just wear it for fun,” it was easy to envision the day where he’d pick the Trojans over a list of scholarship offers that includes more than 15 schools.
Vaughns created a list of 11 schools in April, but told Scout.com this week that he had narrowed his focus to four: Alabama, Georgia, Washington and USC. Vaughns added that, despite his commitment, he plans to take official visits during the upcoming season but that he felt “excited to make my decision and focus on my team and my senior year.”
Vaughns is highly regarded for his versatility. “Vaughns is an exceptional fit in USC's offense especially if they continue to move to a high-tempo offense,” Rivals.com analyst Adam Gorney said. “He can line up outside, he can go across the middle, he's exceptionally smooth and he has terrific hands. There is a good chance he can continue in the long line of great receivers to come through USC.”
As a junior at Bishop Amat, the 6'2," 176-pounder caught 83 passes for 1,183 yards and 12 touchdowns. Vaughns was named co-Most Valuable Player of the Southern California-based Mission League with incoming USC freshman linebacker John Huston.
Vaughns is part of a remarkably deep crop of receivers from California in the class of 2016. Of the top 36 receivers in the country, as ranked by Rivals.com, 11 hail from the Golden State. Including Vaughns, three of those players—the two others are Bishop Amat teammate Trevon Sidney and Oaks Christian (Calif.) High’s Michael Pittman—have issued verbal commitments to the Trojans.
The program also has secured a pledge from North Gwinnett (Ga.) High standout Josh Imatorbhebhe and Saraland (Ala.) High’s Velus Jones. That’s a strong haul, but Vaughns may have the most potential to make an impact right away. If he honors his commitment, Vaughns will join a receiving corps for the 2016 season that includes electric sophomore JuJu Smith and do-everything threat Adoree’ Jackson.