Gerard Martinez | USCFootball.com

Kayvon Thibodeaux takes the field with a new team at a new position

Sophomore defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux played stand-up outside linebacker opposite of Bo Calvert for Oaks Christian at the 32 Cares Seven-on-Seven Passing Tournament Saturday in Los Alamitos (Calif.).

Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey four-star defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux is now Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian four-star defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux. 

Playing for the first time on a competitive stage with his Oaks Christian teammates, Thibodeaux was a fish out of water learning a new defense. But he's not just learning a new defensive scheme, Thibodeaux is learning a new position. 

“I’m playing way more outside linebacker and I’ll be playing more tight end,” said Thibodeaux. “Playing linebacker, there’s a lot more running. You have a lot more responsibility too. 

“You have to really focus on your assignments. At defensive end, I could just go out and play. At outside linebacker, you have to know your assignment and work at it. If you get beat, it’s all on you. 

“So I’m really working on my footwork and my ability to change direction. I’m fast, I just have to use it to my advantage.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time Thibodeaux has transitioned between private and public schools. Thibodeaux started his high school football career at Serra before transferring to Dorsey. 

“It’s definitely different,” said Thibodeaux. “It’s a different school, different environment and a whole different area. 

“It’s not too hard to adjust, but yeah, it’s different. It was a spiritual and educational move. It’s about higher learning and Oaks Christian is a different situation. My mom and I are moving because there’s a lot going on in L.A. It comes down to safety. My mom felt a move to the Valley would allow me to tune more into God, sports and education.”

Thibodeaux’s ambition beyond being a professional football player is to get a law degree. Oaks Christian opens up more opportunities for him to take special classes that will prepare him for college internships.

“Oaks Christian has a lot of connections and you meet a lot of people who offer internships in certain areas,” said Thibodeaux. “It’s an opportunity to be set up for life after football.”

Gerard Martinez | USCFootball.com

Thibodeaux has no immediate plans to take unofficial visits to schools outside the state. It’s fair to say that with two years until signing a letter of intent, Thibodeaux isn’t very caught up with the recruiting process.

Although Thibodeaux did take notice of the early signing period passed by the NCAA last month. 

“The earliest I would decide on a school would be December or November of my senior year,” said Thibodeaux. “I’m planning on graduating early from high school, so I could use that to commit early my senior year.”

Thibodeaux was notably absent from USC spring practices this year. Camping with the Trojans at Rising Stars last June, he hopes to be back on campus at USC soon. 

“With school and deciding to transfer, it’s taken up all of my time,” said Thibodeaux. “Once school is over, I’m going to try to visit USC. I might go back up there for their camp.”

Although Thibodeaux has been around USC plenty over the past two years, he still has one point of contention for the Trojans coaching staff before signing day 2019 rolls around. 

“I want to see them beat an SEC school,” said Thibodeaux. “That will show me they are for real. 

“The SEC plays at a different level of football. If a Pac-12 school can beat an SEC school, then you know they can play.”

With that said, Thibodeaux remains very high on USC. 

“USC is always going to be an option,” said Thibodeaux. “It’s the hometown school and right down the street. 

“They have a great tradition. They’ll always be an option for me, but I still have to weigh all of my options."

Of course, moving out of downtown Los Angeles partly due to gang violence and other issues, USC’s location could be seen as a significant factor in his recruitment. 

“SC is a city school, but if you’ve lived down there, you know that once you get to SC, it’s a whole different area,” said Thibodeaux. “If you live on the outside of the fences, that’s when you can have problems. 

“If you live on the inside… SC, they take care of everything. That’s not an issue.”


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