UCLA gets commitments from two top 500 prospects, including St. John Bosco’s Vaughns

St. John Bosco safety Jonathan Vaughns takes part in a seven-on-seven passing tournament.
St. John Bosco safety Jonathan Vaughns assesses an opposing offense during the Battle at the Beach seven-on-seven passing tournament June 29.
(Shotgun Spratling / Los Angeles Times)

UCLA football is red hot on the field, having won three straight while scoring more than 30 points in each victory.

But the Bruins may be even hotter on the recruiting trail. They continued their strong recruiting run Tuesday evening when they picked up a pair of commitments from top 500 prospects that could help bolster their defensive depth next season. Georgia linebacker Choe Bryant-Strother of Greater Atlanta Christian School announced his decision a few hours before Bellflower St. John Bosco High dual-sport athlete Jonathan Vaughns also revealed his intention to attend UCLA.

Beau Gardner, an offensive lineman for St. Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco, announced earlier in the day his commitment to attend UCLA as a long snapper, though he is expected to begin his career as a walk-on.


The Bruins’ triple-commitment Tuesday came on the heels of snagging a pledge from St. John Bosco four-star receiver Logan Loya on Monday night. Four commits in two days and eight since the beginning of October have pushed the Bruins up the team rankings to No. 34 in the nation after being No. 72 in late September. UCLA is now fifth in the Pac-12 recruiting rankings.

Bryant-Strother is the second leading tackler for an 8-1 Greater Atlanta Christian team. He has made 67 tackles with three sacks and an interception. He made 76 tackles in 12 games last season. The 6-2½, 230-pound linebacker is ranked No. 459 nationally as the No. 20 inside linebacker, though he has the versatility to play the inside or outside linebacker positions.

Vaughns has been the enforcer at the back end of St. John Bosco’s defense with 49 tackles and several big hits from his safety position. The 6-2, 215-pound Vaughns has been projected at different spots at the college level by recruiting services. ESPN lists him as a safety. 247Sports projects him to play outside linebacker. And Rivals is hedging its bets, designating him as an athlete. The three-star prospect is rated No. 474 nationally in the composite rankings, though 247Sports has him as high as No. 344 and considers him a four-star prospect.

He is also a dual-threat baseball prospect as an outfielder/first baseman and right-handed pitcher, who was throwing as hard as 93 mph at events this summer.

Vaughns becomes the fourth St. John Bosco Brave to commit to UCLA’s 2020 recruiting class, joining Loya, running back Nathaniel Jones and fellow safety Jake Newman. Greater Atlanta Christian will be represented in the Pac-12 as well as Bryant-Strother could face off against offensive lineman teammate Myles Hinton and former Spartans quarterback Davis Mills when the Bruins play Stanford in the future.