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UCLA Football Recruiting: Bruins Add Pair of Linebackers in Jonathan Vaughns and Choe Bryant-Strother

The Bruins continue their momentum by picking up two big defensive recruits.

Jonathan Vaughns committed to the Bruins yesterday.

The good times are definitely rolling for the UCLA Bruins, both on and off the football field. While the team is currently the winners of three straight games, business has definitely picked up on the recruiting trail, as the Bruins have followed up on the commitment of Logan Loya on Monday by securing the commitments of two linebackers in Choe Bryant-Strother and Jonathan Vaughns.

Let’s start with Choe Bryant-Strother since he announced first. Bryant-Strother is a 6’2.5”, 230-pound linebacker prospect out of Greater Atlanta Christian School in Georgia. He is a consensus three-star recruit via 247Sports’ Composite Rankings, which have him as the 20th-rated inside linebacker in the country and 48th-best recruit in the talent-laden state of Georgia. UCLA’s big competitors for Bryant-Strother’s services were BYU and Nebraska, though his offer list does include a host of names like LSU, Michigan, and Texas A&M.

Choe Bryant-Strother has put up some impressive numbers in high school, which is a good sign considering his school is one of the better teams in Georgia. This year, he’s accumulated 43 tackles and a interception through six games, while last year he had 76 tackles in 12 games. He has a high-motor with explosive athletic ability, but just as important is his drive to get better, which seems to be a common theme among analysts when discussing Bryant-Strother.

UCLA has been recruiting Choe since the Spring, when he received a scholarship offer and unofficially visited. This past weekend was Bryant-Strother’s official visit and the entire package from the big home victory to academics seemed to seal the deal for Bryant-Strother. Choe was joined on the trip by fellow Georgian and one-time UCLA commit Myles Jackson, who is also conveniently announcing his commitment on Thursday.

Here is video of Choe Bryant-Strother’s junior year highlights courtesy of Hudl:

Now let’s move on to Vaughns. Jonathan Vaughns is a 6’2”, 215-pound linebacker prospect out of St. John Bosco in Bellflower, California. He is a consensus three-star prospect via 247Sports Composite Rankings, which has him as the 30th-ranked outside linebacker in the country, and the 40th-best prospect in the state of California. Vaughns’ offer list on 247Sports is rather short, but it does include offers from LSU and Penn State. So, I’d lean towards it just not being updated all that well. It happens. Curiously, Vaughns’ offer list does not include a scholarship offer from Southern Cal. I say that because Vaughns’ older brother Tyler is currently one of the Trojans’ wide receiver hydra. Vaughns even referenced the fact that he will be playing on the opposite side of his brother in the crosstown rivalry in his announcement tweet.

As you’ll also notice in that announcement, Vaughns is seen wearing both football and baseball uniforms. That’s because he’s going to have the opportunity to be a two-sport athlete at UCLA with baseball coach John Savage bringing Vaughns into the program as well. It’s a good idea, especially because Savage now gets a good player and doesn’t have to try and find a scholarship for him as he can use his football scholarship for both sports.

Jonathan Vaughns is a very physical player who bounces between safety and linebacker at Bosco and that’s apparently the role UCLA sees for him in the program, similar to Stephan Blaylock and Carl Jones currently. That works well for Vaughns, who is great at getting upfield and isn’t afraid of contact around the line of scrimmage.

The commitment of Vaughns continues to strengthen the St. John Bosco to UCLA pipeline that has existed in recent years. In fact, Vaughns is now the 4th Brave to commit to UCLA in this cycle, joining with Loya, running back Nathaniel Jones, and safety Jake Newman. Loading up on Bosco players isn’t a bad idea in the slightest. The Braves are one of the top high school programs nationally and routinely have a host of top-end high school talent.

Here are some mid-season highlights of Jonathan Vaughns, courtesy of Hudl:

Welcome to Westwood, Choe and Jonathan!

Go Bruins!