The year 2019 remains in the distance horizon, but a rising star is visible nonetheless.
Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey sophomore tight end/defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux was among the top players to attend USC's Rising Stars Camp. Despite his youth, Thibodeaux earned top honors from every expert that watched him perform.
“I really liked the competition and seeing all the different talent from everywhere,” said Thibodeaux. “Being able to play against everybody and see that level talent.
“When I was going into high school, I didn’t think I was that big. But looking at all of the juniors and seniors out there, I realized I’m really bigger than I thought I was.
“It was good to know I have the right frame, I just need to tone it up and get stronger.”
Indeed, Thibodeaux measured in a 6-foot-5, 219-pounds and ran 4.70 in the 40-yard dash.
While he has spent much of his spring playing tight end, Thibodeaux made a name for himself last fall by joining Dorsey midseason and accumulating nine sacks in three games of the City Section Playoffs.
At the Rising Stars Camp, Thibodeaux played both sides of the ball.
“My film and everything else show me at d-end,” said Thibodeaux. “Me, I’m just trying to be versatile. I’ve been playing tight end just to work on it.
“Coach Tee Martin came over to me and actually told me to get some pass rushes in. I did that a few reps.”
During one of those reps, Thibodeaux got into the offensive backfield so fast, he mistakenly was thought to have missed a pass block as a tight end.
Thibodeaux has been to USC unofficially before, but the camp was an entirely different experience for him.
“Honestly, it didn’t feel like I was at a college during the camp,” said Thibodeaux. “It really felt more like a home.
“I guess you could say it felt more like a family environment and the coaches and the players really made me feel comfortable. I felt like I was right back at Dorsey field.”