<
>

USC target Tyler Vaughns continues to shine

Even with a loaded collection of talented wide receivers in attendance at the B2G Elite Camp in Thousand Oaks, California, this past weekend, La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat’s Tyler Vaughns still managed to stand out. Showcasing a blend of size (6-foot-2, 172 pounds), outstanding athleticism and speed, not to mention some sure hands, the Class of 2016 standout was one of the overwhelming stars of the four-day event.

It was the latest in a string of strong performances put on by the ESPN 300 wideout, whose schedule has been jam-packed over the past few months as he bounced between participating in numerous camps, playing for Body By Tra Athletics in the spring 7-on-7 circuit, as well as for his high school’s baseball team.

But with the Bishop Amat football team having now started up their summer passing league schedule, the biggest thing on his mind these days is helping the Lancers take home a championship this coming fall.

“The main goal is to win CIF and to win state,” said Vaughns, who caught 83 passes for 1,183 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2014. “That’s the main goal on my mind, and the way we’ve been preparing has been unbelievable. We’re trying to get ahead of everybody.”

And that’s exactly what he and his teammates have done so far, taking home 7-on-7 titles at the Charter Oak Passing Tournament as well as at the Saugus Under the Lights Passing Tournament. Part of the secret to Bishop Amat’s success, and the momentum that they’re building, has been the play of Vaughns as well as ESPN 300 athlete Trevon Sidney, who like Vaughns, lines up in the secondary as well as at wide receiver.

Offensively, the two have proven to be a nightmare for opposing defenses to deal with.

“It helps having Trevon out there a lot,” Vaughns said. “If I’m not getting double-teamed, then he is, and if I’m getting double-teamed then he’s going to get the ball. Either way we’re going to eat, so it doesn’t matter.”

For a tradition-rich Bishop Amat program that hasn’t won a CIF-Southern Section title since 1995, Vaughns knows how significant it would be if they could pull it off in 2015.

“It would mean a lot to me, but it would be even bigger for the alumni because it’s been awhile,” Vaughns said. “So, I’m trying to get it for them. It’s not really about me or the team, it’s just about trying to get it for the people who played already and didn’t get it.”

In an effort to help focus on that goal, Vaughns has made the decision to announce his college choice one week before the start of his senior campaign in late August.

“I want to get it out of the way so I can just concentrate on my senior season and not have to think about it anymore,” Vaughns said. “I just want to focus on football and school.”

Vaughns recently released a list of 11 schools under consideration that included Alabama, Arizona State, Florida, Georgia, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, UCLA, USC, Washington and Washington State.

“I’m really looking at academics, the system of the offense and team, and the tradition and everything like that,” Vaughns said. “I just want to see if it feels like a second home to me.”

Many assume that USC is in the driver’s seat in this race. After all, the Trojans were the first school to offer, and he’s been up to the campus on a number of occasions.

But while he does admit to having heavy interest in USC, right now, he says that no school leads for his services.

“USC was my first offer, so I mean, that was big,” Vaughns said. “I grew up watching USC. That was the school to go to when I was little. I love the school and it still has a big place in my heart, but I have to do what’s best for me, and try not to think that it was my dream school.”

Vaughns has built up a strong relationship with USC wide receivers coach Tee Martin, who recently revealed that with the commitments of Josh Imatorbhebhe (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett) and Velus Jones (Saraland, Ala./Saraland), the Trojans are running out of room at the wide receiver position for the Class of 2016.

“My relationship with Coach Martin is really good,” Vaughns said. “I talk to him almost every day. I’ll call him up just to chat a little bit and touch base. Right now he’s just trying to see if I want to commit, because they’ve got two receivers now, so they’ve only got two slots left.”

Vaughns will take part in The Opening Finals in Beaverton, Oregon, set to be held July 7-10. He also has plans to unofficially visit both Alabama and Georgia later this summer, and there is a chance that he will participate in the Rising Stars Camp at USC on June 24-25.