Lambert (5'11, 181 lbs), who was timed in the forty at the Nike Camp at 4.21, will be switching from linebacker to cornerback this season, the position where he also projects to at the next level. At the Trojan football camp, he had a chance to work on his corner skills and was impressed with what he saw, "I got a lot of good instruction from Coach Carroll and the DB coach, Coach Burns at USC," he said. "They showed me a lot of stuff at the corner spot. We went over a lot of press technique towards the end of camp, and they showed me the basic things that they run at the college level as far as footwork and coming out of your break properly, and how to basically just play the position at that level and at that speed, and the things you should know, the fundamentals. I did pretty well, maybe one ball was caught on me, if that's good."
In talking to Lambert, it's obvious that he was particularly impressed with Coach Pete Carroll's instruction during the camp, and he expanded on that further, "I learned a lot from him," he explained. "He just gave me hands-on instruction and I was just able to pick up things and learn hands-on. It wasn't like I watched it or the coaches told me, it was like I'd see it work in slo-motion and speed up and actually do it, so I was learning. To me, that's the best way to learn because it's going to stick with you more often than not."
So, did the camp leave a positive impact on the talented cornerback? "Yeah, just the fact that if I were to go there, I've already established somewhat of a chemistry with them," Lambert explained. "That plays a roll, the relationship between the player and the coach. I mean, if you already know each other, you're going to really want to cooperate with the person, because if you just go someplace where you don't really know a person, you could have met them, they could be an acquaintance, but you won't really know them."
Along with the Trojans, Lambert has offers from Washington State, Oregon State, Oregon, San Diego State, Northwestern, and Notre Dame, and although Lambert left the Trojan camp with positive feelings, he explained that he is no where near a decision and is currently open in regards to his recruitment. In fact, he hasn't even narrowed his choices down to a top-10 at this point, though he did mention three schools that seem to jump out, "I'm open to anybody right now," he said. "I'm not really worried about what college I'm going to pick at the moment. I'm just trying to focus on my senior year. I could tell you that out of the Pac-10, SC sticks out more than anybody. Michigan, they were a childhood favorite. Just off the top of my head, those two stick out to me. Florida State too. Those are probably the three that stick out in my mind. You could say that I don't think I'll commit to anybody early."
Planning to make his decision sometime near signing day after he has taken all of his official visits, Lambert will be taking a few factors into account in reaching his college choice, "Basically just a place where I can grow and develop the most, and a place where I can contribute as much as I can, and win a national championship," he said. "I'd like to play early, but if I didn't, it wouldn't bother me that much. As long as I know that I'm contributing, that's all that matters." One issue that will not factor into his decision is distance from home, "Oh no, not at all," he said.
Lambert will attend the Beyond 2000 camp this weekend at Cal-Lutheran, and that will be it for the summer as far as camps go.