Juco, Skills on display at USC

USC held two camps Saturday with both the high school skills and junior college events going from morning to evening at Howard Jones Field.

With USC summer football camps open to the public once again, the Trojans coaching staff hosted more than 400 athletes and an equally large crowd of family and onlookers to campus for the Skills and Junior College camps Saturday.

The Skills Camp, often looked at as the Rising Stars Camp’s little brother, marked the fourth time Elk Grove (Calif.) Franklin four-star safety Lamar Jackson had been on USC’s campus in as many months. Jackson, who may end up returning to USC again for Rising Stars this week, was clearly the most ready-made D-I player in attendance.

At 6-foot-3, 210-pounds, Jackson stood out in a crowd despite trimming off his bleached blonde hair. Jackson would go on to win camp defensive back MVP at the end of day for his performance, which included several pass break ups and a couple of near miss collisions.

“It was great to work with the staff, especially on their new field,” said Jackson. “I enjoyed it a lot.

“Coach (Keith) Heyward and the staff all said they were impressed with how I played and were glad I was able to come down and see them.”

With Jackson working hard in the classroom this summer to graduate as a midyear entrant, the weekend camp provided a better fit in his schedule than the midweek Rising Stars event.

Whether he makes it to campus next week is somewhat irrelevant as USC has shown him almost every facet of the program since his first unofficial visit in April.

“SC has always been a favorite, but I wouldn’t say the camp made any major moves in my recruitment,” said Jackson. “It was just good to compete and get some work in with the coaches.”

Thomson (Ga.) cornerback Christian Tutt came to the Skills Camp at USC with maybe even more hype than Jackson. Tutt, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound rising sophomore came to the camp with scholarship offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, South Carolina and Michigan among others.

Tutt did not receive a scholarship offer from USC from his performance Saturday, although he was awarded with a top defensive back honor in the morning session of the camp. Tutt and his family also met with Trojan head coach Steve Sarkisian after the camp’s conclusion.

Tutt toured USC’s campus Friday, and although a scholarship offer wasn’t forwarded by the Trojans Saturday, it is likely he gets one before the end of summer. Certainly, his size and speed   were unparalleled by any other underclassmen at the camp.

Tutt won a majority of his one-on-one reps and dominated some of the match ups completely at the line of scrimmage. Physically and fundamentally, Tutt lived up to his billing Saturday on Howard Jones Field.

At tight end, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame rising senior William Humphreys received top honors for the day. Although listed as 210-pounds from last season roster, Humphreys has developed physically and is now closer to 225-pounds.

Buckeye (Ariz.) wide receiver Xavier James was also honored at the camp for his play. James doesn’t have any major D-I scholarship offers, but is an intriguing player with speed and a solid 6-foot-1, 180-pound frame. James caught 20 passes for 329 yards last season, which may also explain why Pac-12 schools have been reluctant to jump on him.

San Bernardino (Calif.) running back Alex Mattison had a good showing at USC Saturday. Mattison certainly looks the part physique wise and garnered good reviews for his performance at The Opening Regional in Redondo (Calif.) in March.

Carrying a 4.6 GPA, the biggest question about Mattison is his toughness and durability as a runner. Those question will go unanswered until he puts the pads back on in August. Mattison will, however, have several schools watching him closely this season.

San Pedro (Calif.) safety A.J. Frazier was also one of the better performers among Saturday campers. While Frazier didn’t receive any specific camp acknowledgment, he showed good versatility playing one-on-one on island in drills and then moving to safety in seven-on-seven.

Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola four-star cornerback David Long, who was reported to unofficially visit USC Saturday, was not in attendance at the Trojans Skills camp.

Junior College Camp

After a long day with the high school skills players, the USC coaching staff hit the field in the late afternoon to hold their second annual junior college camp. With players coming in from all over the country, the most highly touted prospect hailed from Hutchinson (Kan.) four-star running back Travis Custis.

Custis does not have a scholarship offer from USC, but had a good showing Saturday in running back, linebacker one-on-one drills. Custis is listed as 5-foot-11, 210-pounds, but looked closer to 220-pounds Saturday.

Contra Costa (Calif.) College defensive end Clarence Corbin was one of the most noticeable players physically at the camp. The 6-foot-5, 270-pound defensive end just received a scholarship offer from Fresno State and could be a player USC looks at harder as the year wears on.

Also from Contra Costa College, Chima Onyeukwu showed well in drills as an outside linebacker. Onyeukwu has scholarship offers from Utah State and Washington State as an outside linebacker. Onyeukwu worked out with the linebackers at USC Saturday. Chibu Onyeukwu was also in attendance as a defensive end Saturday.

Fresh faces make an appearance

Half of USC’s 2015 class arrived on campus June 1, and since then, more and more freshmen have trickled on campus. This weekend several more freshmen were on campus; including defensive tackle Kevin Scott, running back Dominic Davis, center Cole Smith and offensive tackle Clayton Johnston. Saturday was also the first appearance Oklahoma tight end transfer Taylor McNamara has on campus.

Some of the freshmen jersey numbers were also displayed Saturday:

No. 7   Marvell Tell, safety
No. 10 John Houston, linebacker
No. 16 Dominic Davis, running back
No. 28 Aca’Cedric Ware, running back
No. 30 Ykili Ross, safety
No. 45 Porter Gustin, rush end
No. 53 Kevin Scott, defensive tackle
No. 66 Cole Smith, center
No. 76 Clayton Johnston, offensive tackle
No. 87 Caleb Wilson, tight end
No. 89 Christian Rector, defensive end
No. 91 Noah Jefferson, defensive tackle
No. 92 Jacob Daniel, defensive tackle
No. 94 Rasheem Green, defensive end

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