Nike Camp thoughts

There were about 300 recruits at the Nike Camp today and they went through a wide variety of SPARQ testing that involved parachutes and medicine balls before finally settling down for some football work. The USC program was represented with head coach Pete Carroll (allowed to be there under NCAA rules since his son, Nate, was a competitor at the event), Matt Leinart, Matt Cassel, Lawrence Jackson, Justin Wyatt and Kevin Thomas (his brother Marcello is a CB from Rio Mesa who was a participant).

Among the top recruits who performed well:

* Terrance Austin (WR, LB Poly) - Austin is cut athletically from a similar mold to DeSean Jackson, a smaller frame with good quicks and moves. Terrance is a longtime USC fan who wore a Charles White #12 replica jersey to Charles White Day last year at the Coliseum (you have to like that) and he has been attending USC practices with his father since he was a freshman at Poly. He was probably the top receiver on the day although his teammate Travon Patterson is also one to watch.

* C.J. Gable (RB/FS, Sylmar) - Gable is known as a running back on offense but today he went through drills as a wide receiver because he said he simply wanted to prove to everybody that he could do it. Gable was moving pretty well in drills and he's got a real good frame.

* Konrad Reuland (TE, Mission Viejo) - There's no doubt who the top TE in Southern California is and Konrad pretty much solidified his standing today, especially in the one-on-one drills. He's got size, hands, footwork, the whole package. The Trojans are in a solid position for him after he visited a spring ball practice recently and came away with a good impression of the USC program.

* Jeff Cumberland (TE, Brookhaven, OH) - The other TE who caught our eye besides Reuland. Cumberland was part of a group of four Brookhaven athletes (Ohio Div 2 champs) that made the trip west for the Nike Camp (they also caught the USC scrimmage on Saturday). Jeff is 6-4, 220 and passes the eyeball test. For the most part he caught the ball well although he looked a little stiff on some plays. This could be an interesting prospect to watch.

* Allen Bradford (LB, Colton) - Arguably the top performer of the day (if not Austin). Bradford showed good speed, good strength and proved that he will be the top LB in the area as we head into the 2005 season. Allen has offers from both USC and UCLA although Miami is a school he would still like to hear from. His coach has said he thinks Allen will end up staying local and that he is an SC-type of guy.

* Chane Moline (RB, Mission Viejo) - He didn't go through all the drills today as he was nursing a sore back but he was one of the better prospects out there. With two brothers already headed to UCLA it's hard to imagine Chane will end up anywhere else.

* Tobi Umodo (LB, South Hills) - Tobi could be an interesting guy to watch, he's got a solid frame and seems pretty physical. Right now he is a commit to UCLA but sources close to him say he is still open to hearing from other schools including the Trojans.

* Shareece Wright (SS, Colton) - Often overshadowed by Bradford, Wright could end up being another highly recruited guy from Colton.

* Vincent Joseph (CB, LB Poly) - Looked pretty good out there. Vincent has a cover corner mentality with a lot of speed.

* Darian Hagan (DB, Crenshaw) - A little skinny but the athleticism is obviously there.

* Mike Coughlin (QB, Mira Mesa) - It wasn't a great day for quarterbacks so Coughlin definitely stood out in the group. He's got a real good arm and velocity on his ball.

Among the offensive linemen the top guys on the day were Daniel Mafoe (Carson), Jovon Hayes (Dorsey), Sean Sheller (Walnut) and Conan Amituanai (LB Poly). Sonny Tevaga (Dominguez) was also there but he didn't look in great shape and was a little slow in the drills. Mafoe had a similar frame to Tevaga but was in much better shape and Daniel could end up as one of the top recruits in the area. Hayes is going to make a good guard, pretty mobile for his size.


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