BOOM! Cornerback Chris Gaston Commits To UCLA


September 5, 2015; Pasadena, CA, USA; Virginia Cavaliers running back Taquan Mizzell (4) is brought down against the UCLA Bruins defense during the second half at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA picked up yet another verbal commitment for its defense on Friday night, landing its fourth pledge of the week in cornerback Chris Gaston.

When Chris Gaston (La Puente, CA/Bishop Amat) finally got the offer he was waiting for, he did not hesitate to pull the trigger. With a simple conversation on the phone with UCLA defensive backs coach Demetrice Martin after Gaston’s Bishop Amat Lancers stomped Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 56-7, Gaston made a great night for himself even better by not only landing a highly-coveted offer from UCLA, but also by immediately seizing the opportunity to commit once he got that offer to join the Bruins.

Standing at a broad 6-feet-2-inches, Gaston is the typical Demetrice Martin cornerback recruit: tall, long-limbed, tough, and rugged with a nose for the ball. Getting the chance to compete with high-profile recruits (and USC commitments) Tyler Vaughns and Trevon Sidney in practices for Bishop Amat on a daily basis has really accelerated Gaston’s development and he has both the physical profile and aggressive mentality to project well as a corner on the next level.

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After missing most of his junior season with a leg injury, Gaston rebounded strongly in the spring as he performed well on the 7-on-7 circuit, but Gaston has truly emerged as a tantalizing cornerback recruit in the last few weeks with a fantastic start to his senior season that included a pick-six in Bishop Amat’s opening week game at Mater Dei:

Gaston became the 19th member of UCLA’s 2016 recruiting class with his commitment, which creates a bit of a numbers crunch going into the stretch run to Signing Day. With only six scholarships available to get to a full class of 25 and at least that many elite recruits still on the board who are strong Bruin leans but want to wait until closer to Signing Day to make their commitments, it is no certainty that all 19 players who are currently committed to UCLA will end up as Bruins come February.

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Additionally, UCLA was the strong favorite to land a number of local defensive backs who already held Bruin offers, like Myles Bryant (Los Angeles, CA/Loyola), Andrew Davis (Upland, CA/Upland), and Keyon Riley (Anaheim, CA/Servite), but the impending numbers crunch brought on by the recent commitments of Gaston, Marquis Lawson (Los Angeles, CA/Crenshaw), and Leni Toailoa (Rialto, CA/Carter) might see the former group of players squeezed out of the opportunity to become Bruins and forced to look elsewhere as a result.

Regardless of any macro-level numbers issues, Chris Gaston is a solid addition to UCLA’s 2016 class and will be an interesting piece for Demetrice Martin to mold in the future.

Welcome to Westwood, Chris!

Next: Know Your Opponent: UCLA at Arizona

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