USC lineman camp

The Trojan coaches hosted their annual lineman camp today as high school linemen grades 9-12 gathered at USC today. There were several recruits in attendance and a big verbal for the Trojans, click below for a recap.

One thing that was very noticeable at the camp was the increased intensity level of the coaching we saw from Pat Ruel and Jethro Franklin. There have been some comments from people on the message boards wondering if the two line coaches will be able to match the intensity level of their predecessors and, based on what we saw today, they have found their vocal chords and will be ready to go for fall camp in August. Lawrence Jackson stopped by the camp and said he is extremely fired up to get the season started.

Offensive line

Zack Heberer – San Pedro
Will Yeatman – Rancho Bernardo HS
Cody Pope – University (SD)
Michael Harris – Duarte HS (junior)
Spencer Johnson - Antelope Valley HS
Brandon Bennett – Bishop Amat

Zack Heberer was the offensive lineman we were most looking forward to seeing at the camp. At this point it appears as if he has received an offer as Zack told us that he has accepted an offer and will be a Trojan. Zack certainly moves well with very good footwork and he has enough size to be in line for an SC offer. He was with the first group in the one on one sessions and he did OK, sometimes he won and if he got beat it was usually because the defender was too quick.

One interesting name working out with the OL was Will Yeatman, a known recruit as a tight end but at 6-5 ¾, 255 pounds, perhaps it is wise for Will to begin working out with the linemen. He's got an excellent frame to add weight in a good way and his form was pretty good in the drills. All in all it was a solid day for Will and my guess is he will continue to receive interest from the Trojans.

Cody Pope can play either side of the line and in the morning session he was strictly offense. He's got good form, he looks the part, but he got the short end in a couple good one on one battles. He had an intense two out of three session with Alex Parsons that started with Cody putting Alex on his butt to much celebrating on the offensive side of the ball but then Parsons came back on two snaps in a row and beat Cody with his quickness.

Michael Harris was the top junior on the day and he saw a lot of reps with the senior group (he was the only junior in the group). Michael has real good size and will definitely be a player to watch for next year.

Spencer Johnson is a little light but his footwork was as quick as anybody on the offensive line. He also saw some time at DE with a real good swim move.

UCLA verbal commit Brandon Bennett worked out and went through drills. He's not quick enough off the ball to be seriously considered for a scholarship by the Trojans. Brandon was hurt briefly in the afternoon session of the camp.

* Another UCLA commit, Jake Dean, was in attendance but did not go through drills (broken nose).

Defensive line

Matangi Tonga – Aragon HS
Alex Parsons – Woodbridge HS
Justin Prueitt – Buchanan HS
Lonnell Rice – Vista Del Lago HS

Tonga was the surprise of the camp as he put on quite a show in the one on one drills with a very quick first step off the ball that saw him blow past several offensive linemen. He also had the strength to overpower somebody when needed, he was very impressive. Tonga is 6-2, 260 and has received interest so far from BYU (offer, brother is a verbal commit), Nebraska, ASU and UCLA. Matangi also played fullback last year. He was clearly a favorite of the Trojan coaches as cries of "Tonga" could be heard from the coaches when he was ready to run a 40 or go through a drill.

Alex Parsons also showed good quickness did a good job on beating Heberer on one pass rush with a speed move off the line. Alex has a tall frame that makes him look somewhat similar to current Trojan Jeff Schweiger.

Justin Prueitt is a thick kid with good strength but he didn't make enough plays in the drills to make you think that he is going to walk out of the camp with an offer.

Lonnell Rice saw a lot of action yesterday at linebacker and came back today to play his true position of defensive end. He's got good height, long arms and a pretty good motor. Lonnell's father told WeAreSC that the younger brother of Drean Rucker, Taurean, has transferred from Arroyo Valley to Vista Del Lago and will begin playing with the team this fall.


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