UGA is definitely in the receiver business for its 2016 recruiting class. It already has four receiver commitments for this year, and at least another four elite targets in mind.
Much has written about all of those guys, but there’s another name racking up the data on UGA receivers coach Bryan McClendon’s phone plan. California 4-star Tyler Vaughns is the highest-rated UGA receiver target on the 247sports composite. He even rates higher than Kyle Davis, the standout from Archer who might just be No. 1 on the receiver board for the Bulldogs.
Vaughns — a 6-foot-3, 182-pounder — is the nation’s No. 2 prospect at receiver. He’s from the Los Angeles area and is set to announce his commitment on Aug. 19. He told the AJC on Sunday that UGA remains in his Top 5 and that status has not changed over the summer.
The nation’s No. 33 overall recruit said he had yet to receive an official written letter from UGA at this point. “They told me that it was coming in the mail,” he said.
What chance does UGA have with him? Here are 4 quick nuggets to chew on:
- His aunt has been a big part of his life. She resides two miles away from Sanford Stadium in Athens. He saw her basically every day until he was 16 before she moved to Georgia.
- Vaughns doesn’t mind going to school on the other side of the country.
- He has yet to visit UGA, but will take an official visit even if he does not choose them on Aug. 19.
- He sized up 5-star QB commitment Jacob Eason at The Opening and liked what he saw.
He said his five finalists are Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, USC and UGA. He doesn’t rank them and has no leader. He said Alabama, Southern California, UGA and Washington were the schools currently recruiting him the hardest at this point.
Vaughns shared the following thoughts regarding his recruiting:
UGA has four committed receivers. Is that a minus? “I’m not worried about any competition anywhere. If Georgia has four receivers committed and I’m another one then that will give me even more of an edge. I know I can outwork anybody around me at my spot. That will only help me.”
On why he feels UGA still wants him with all those targets: “Coach (Bryan McClendon) told me I was still one of his guys. He said he still needs me there. He just wants to get me out there so I can see more of what he is talking about. What he’s talking about is UGA is a great atmosphere with just the school itself. He wants me to see it for myself so he can make a believer out of me.”
On what McClendon is doing that is working with him: “Some coaches will offer me and stop talking to me after that,” he said. “Georgia continued to talk to me every week and make sure I was alright and kept in the loop. Georgia kept in touch with me and was touching base with me basically every day. That was even before they offered me this summer.”
On Jacob Eason: “I really sat down and watched him at The Opening. I needed to learn what that guy had to offer to see if I could see myself playing with him. I know he can find the receivers now and pick a defense apart. When I saw him play, it helped Georgia’s chances. It was great watching him. Just how big he is and how strong his arm was. The throws he made were hard, but he made them look so easy.”
On Alabama: “I talk to coach (Tosh) Lupoi and coach Lane Kiffin every day,” Vaughns said. “I just like Alabama itself. I just like that team. It is not about all the wins, but just how they run their team with receivers and everything.”
His strengths: “Catching the ball and running my routes. I try to be a downfield threat and pride myself on catching every ball thrown my way. I don’t like dropping any balls.”
He wants to study business and also communications in college. He said his mother really stresses his education. He knows football will provide for his education and considers that the priority.
“I really work hard to make it for my family,” Vaughns said. “Right now I am just focusing on trying to get to college. I play three sports and I know one of them will take me to a great education. I know that if football doesn’t work out I can fall back on a great education. That’s why I’m not really stressing on where I will play football. If I am getting my education, it doesn’t really matter to me where I play.”
Vaughns said he caught 83 balls last year for 13 touchdowns. The senior said he only dropped five passes that were thrown his way. He also added that he ran a 4.7 in the 40-yard dash at The Opening.
How would he fit in at UGA? That receiver aisle for the Class of 2016 belongs in a Costco. Darion Anderson was the first commitment and Randrecous Davis and Charlie Woerner followed in late July.
Texas speedster Davion Curtis committed last week. Davis has been rated a 5-star recruit as the nation’s No. 1 receiver by at least one service. DawgNation has also tracked UGA’s interest in Florida 4-star Tre Nixon and McEachern’s Tyler Simmons. Savannah’s Demetris Robertson is another uncommitted 4-star athlete who’s expected to be a receiver at the next level.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.