Junior Day Attracts Top Prospects

More than 100 top local prospects were on hand to meet with coaching staff, tour the campus and get more familiar with the Trojan program. Look inside for the details.

It wasn't the 2005 free-for-all that coincided with the Pro Day for Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush, but the USC Junior Day held Saturday made up for spectacle with sheer size.

More than 100 top local prospects were on hand to meet with coaching staff, tour the campus and get more familiar with the Trojan program.

"There were like 130 kids there. It was packed," El Cajon quarterback Shane Dillon said. "It was big time for sure … Which made it like a big event and they put on as much as they could for us and the made it seem like they were there for us and we were there for them. I really liked that part."

Dominguez OL Lacy Westbrook added: "This was actually my first time ever having a tour or being at USC so it was a really good experience. They have a really good coaching staff. They know the game of football inside and out."

Much of the praise was reserved for the new John McKay Center, a new sports complex to be built behind Heritage Hall that had everyone buzzing.

"It's three floors and football gets it's own floor and they are going to put a locker room in there and each player's locker is going to be fully decked out like an NFL locker," Dillon said.

The groundbreaking could not have come at a better time, as a new round of infrastructure projects are underway across the conference. Cal, UCLA and Washington are all starting major stadium renovation projects, while Oregon is set to build a new football center.

"It was amazing. All the schools are pushing their facilities and USC is right there," Rocklin (Calif.) Whitney tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick said.

Ground was broken on the $70 million facility, which will house new locker rooms, meeting space, weight lifting, sports medicine and academic support facilities, in January and is scheduled to be completed by Fall 2012.

The focus on the McKay Center also allowed coaches to stress the importance of education to recruits.

"I thought USC would be talking football all day. They really pushed academics," Cope-Fitzpatrick said.

Several of the recruits that made the trip to USC plan to be back on campus later this year to participate in the Rising Stars Camp or Linemen Camp.

Other players on hand included Westview tight end Taylor McNamara, Monrovia lineman Ellis McCarthy, Norco linebacker Scott Starr, Compton Dominguez cornerback Brandon Beaver, Gardena Serra cornerback Raymond Ford and a pair of USC commits in linebacker Jabari Ruffin and lineman Arik Armstead.


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