USC wide receiver Tyler Vaughns declares for NFL draft

USC wide receiver Tyler Vaughns gets into the end zone untouched against Stanford.
USC wide receiver Tyler Vaughns gets into the end zone untouched against Stanford during a game at the Coliseum on Sept. 7, 2019.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Just two days after USC’s top receiver declared for the draft, another Trojans wideout is on his way to the NFL.

Tyler Vaughns will forego the additional year of eligibility offered by the NCAA because of the pandemic and declare for the draft, departing from USC after four seasons in which he finished third on USC’s all-time receptions list.

Only Robert Woods and Marqise Lee finished their USC careers with more catches than Vaughns’ 222.

“After much thought, I have decided to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft,” Vaughns wrote on social media. “Y’all taught me a lot about the game, and life, and most importantly how to make the most of all the opportunities I have been blessed with. For that, I am forever grateful.”

Vaughns joins Amon-ra St. Brown, the Trojans’ leader in receptions this season, in declaring for the draft, leaving USC to replace two of its top three receivers.


That might be a serious problem for most programs. But no position is deeper on USC’s roster, with All-Pac-12 wideout Drake London and former five-star recruit Bru McCoy waiting in the wings. Freshman Gary Bryant Jr. also is expected to ascend in his second season, and injured freshman Kyle Ford could play a serious role if he returns healthy. USC also is stocked with four-star receiver prospects.

While USC’s fans might wonder why Clay Helton isn’t gone yet, Mike Bohn’s decision to keep the beleaguered football coach might be part of a bigger plan.

Jan. 4, 2021

In a deep receiver draft class, Vaughns is likely to be a middle-round pick. But the senior improved his stock over the Pac-12’s shortened season, earning All-Pac-12 second-team honors.

In a wild comeback win against UCLA, Vaughns reminded everyone of his value. With USC down three scores in the third quarter, Vaughns made a miraculous diving catch in the end zone to cut into UCLA’s lead. He finished with 128 yards and a touchdown in his best game of the season.